Since it was established on 6 March 2020, the Clinical helpline which is run by JESCC has handled over 16,000 calls from Islanders seeking clinical advice about COVID-19.
As we move towards the winter it is timely to remind islanders what the clinical helpline is there to do – and more importantly, what it can’t do.
Call handlers on this line are there to assess whether you need a COVID-19 test based on a set of clinical questions that they will talk you through over the telephone. Calling the helpline will essentially result in one of two outcomes:
- If you need a COVID-19 test they will refer you to the scheduling team who will arrange an appointment.
- They will determine that you don’t need a COVID-19 test and the call handler will take no further action.
What the call handlers CANNOT do is determine whether you need any additional clinical assessment or treatment. If you don’t need an ambulance and are unwell then you should contact your primary care practitioner who will be able to determine the cause of your illness and the correct treatment.
Before you call for assistance please bear in mind the following:
- If you are very unwell phone 999
- If you are concerned you are unwell and need to speak to someone about your symptoms call your GP
- If you have symptoms that are manageable at home which you are not worried about, call the helpline to discuss if you need a COVID test
You can contact primary care BEFORE you receive the results of your COVID-19 test but you must tell them you are waiting for a test/results when you call. They will make arrangements to see you in the clinics that have set aside for those with respiratory/potential COVID-19 symptoms.