We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating regarding special ‘rescue packs’ for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We are not currently changing our usual advice about emergency supplies of antibiotics and steroids. The main reason for this is that we understand neither would help in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection and people might delay seeking advice if they became increasingly short of breath.
Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 before doing anything else.
We are also getting increased demand for inhalers from people who have not had inhalers for several years. This is not recommended and inhalers should only be restarted if your symptoms have returned. Please only request inhalers if you are currently using them and please visit Asthma UK or British Lung Foundation for further information.
We would also like to reassure you that the large majority of people, even with underlying risk factors, will have a mild to moderate illness and recover well. We are asking you to please be sensible and reasonable in your requests. If we feel there is no evidence that the request is appropriate we may decline the request. If your request is declined we hope you will understand why.
Information on COVID-19 can be found online at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.