The situation with Covid-19 is often changing, and it can be challenging to know where to get the latest, most reliable information. We have provided some resources below which may be helpful for keeping up-to-date on what is currently happening.
Health: The NHS website contains information on a range of topics to do with health and wellbeing, including Covid-19 vaccines, testing and treatment.
Travel: The Gov.uk provide updates on a range of topics including the latest announcements, work/education and travel.
Research and Response: The World Health Organisation (WHO) provide information, advice and resources to healthcare professionals and researchers across the globe. They also provide information on the latest number of Covid-19 cases worldwide.
Vaccinations and needle phobia: As Covid-19 vaccinations roll out and booster jabs are being carried out across the UK, some staff have raised fears around needles and getting the vaccination. If you experience needle phobia and would like to overcome it, you can find more information and support on our webpage here.
The main symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
What to do if you have symptoms
Check the NHS website if you have any of the main symptoms of Covid-19, even if they're mild.
Get help from NHS 111 online if:
- you're worried about your symptoms
- you're not sure what to do
The coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against Covid-19.
Who can get a Covid-19 vaccine?
Everyone aged 12 and over, and some children aged 5 to 11, can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the vaccine. Find out more about who can get a Covid-19 vaccine
How to get your Covid-19 vaccine?
If you're aged 16 or over you can:
- book your Covid-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- find a walk-in Covid-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
- wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book your appointments with them
If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.
Booking your 2nd dose
People aged 16 or over are eligible for a 2nd dose.
People aged 18 or over should have their 2nd dose from 8 weeks after their 1st dose.
Most people aged 16 or 17 should have their 2nd dose from 12 weeks after their 1st dose.
- If you book online, you'll be asked to book appointments for both doses. You can manage your Covid-19 vaccination appointments to view your appointments and rebook if you need to.
- If you had your 1st dose at a walk-in vaccination site, you can book your 2nd Covid-19 vaccination appointment online. You'll need to wait 24 hours after your 1st dose before you can book.
- If you have your 1st dose through your GP surgery, you'll be contacted when it's time to book your 2nd dose.
Is needle phobia stopping you from being vaccinated?
Needle phobia also called belonephobia, aichmophobia, or trypanophobia is very common, affecting at least one in 10 people. It may be stopping you from having an important vaccination or a blood test. It is nothing to be ashamed of and simple exercises with practice can help to overcome it quickly. Visit our needle phobia self-help resource page to learn how.
Start a live conversation with one of our wellbeing practitioners if you would like more information on how we can help you with needle phobia.
Covid-19 and mental health
Many of us have faced difficult personal, financial or physical challenges during the pandemic, and it's natural that this can have an impact on our mental health. Significant changes to our daily lives over the last two years such as working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, it is important that we look after our mental, as well as our physical, health.
Although restrictions have come to an end in the United Kingdom, it is clear that coronavirus will continue to have an impact on our lives. In case it’s helpful, we have gathered some tips and resources to help you look after your wellbeing.
Being in and out lockdown over the last two years has been a challenging experience for many of us. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed about the thought of returning to 'normal life'.
For example, you may be worried about using public transport, going back to work, or reconnecting with people that you have not seen for a long time. It is important to remember that this is a natural response to these unprecedented times. If you’re feeling this way, Health in Mind have suggested some things that might help:
Take things one step at a time
If you are feeling anxious or are finding the thought of going back to ‘normal’ life overwhelming, it can be a common response to try to avoid the situations altogether. This can actually be counterproductive, and can heighten your feelings of fear or worry. To help, try not to go for a big change straight away. Instead, you could do it in small steps to ease yourself back in to the swing of things. If you do find yourself feeling anxious, you could make time for calming breathing techniques, mindfulness or meditation before you leave the house.
One of the most important things you can do for your mental health and wellbeing is to keep connected to those around you. Try not to bottle things up if you’re feeling worried; make sure you are talking honestly and openly about how you are feeling. Whether we are in the middle of a crisis or emerging from one, we cope better together.
Make plans to do things you enjoy
Make plans to do the things that you love and enjoy. It might help you to make a list of the things you want to do, the places you want to visit and the people you want to see.
Bring back your old routines
Many of us are now used to a new way of life, whether that’s working from home or spending more time indoors than we used to. Establishing your old routine and way of life, such as heading to bed or waking up earlier, as soon as you can will help ease you back into things.
Think about what’s important
Being in lockdown might of led to a slower pace of life, meaning many of us feel less pressure to act a certain way, such as feeling like we have to attend social gatherings. Use this time to think about what’s truly important to you, rather than what you think you should do.
Things take time
Don’t forget that we have been living in unprecedented times and the way we used to live our lives has been completely turned upside down. Be kind to yourself and remember that it will take time for things to return to the ‘new normal’.
Remember it’s okay if you take longer to adjust than others. Everyone responds to situations differently and a no-one's approach is better than the other.
Below are some ideas to help you take care of your mental and physical wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic and as the restrictions on lockdown continue to ease:
- Stay connected to friends, family and colleagues
- Prioritise sleep - our managing sleep and tiredness self-help resource page has more tips
- Eat healthy and keep hydrated - if you're looking to achieve a more balanced lifestyle, our nutrition self-help resource page can help you
- Take your breaks at work - if your role in health and social care involves lots of screen time, taking a break away from your devices after work might help you relax.
- Be kind to yourself - our mindfulness and relaxation page has lots of tips, why not join a free mindfulness session with our NHS experienced practitioner Peter Helmer?
- Exercise regularly - our physical health self-resource page has free fitness classes you can join
- Make time for things that you enjoy outside of work
- Limit time spent watching or reading the news
- Allow yourself to grieve (whether it be people, moments, or opportunities) - our coping with bereavement page has useful support and signposting links you can access
- Seek informal/professional support if needed - talk to one of our wellbeing practitioners, start a live chat with us, call us at 0300 123 1705 (request a call back) or complete a self-referral form
Video: Five steps to wellbeing
In this video, they discuss five steps that we can all take to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things can help us to feel more positive and to get the best out of life. It helps us to relax, achieve more and helps us to prepare with life’s ups and downs.
Working from home does have perks that some of us enjoy (bye bye commute!), but for many among us, changes like these have been challenging too.
Feeling stress, lack of motivation, anxiety and uncertainty is completely normal. Alongside this, many of us might be worried about future job prospects or the best way to juggle work with our personal and family life.
These simple tips can help you feel more productive and motivated, and take care of your mental health while working from home.
Long Covid or Post Covid Syndrome (PCS)
For some people, Coronavirus (Covid-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called Post Covid-19 Syndrome (PCS) or 'Long Covid'
Visit our Living with Long Covid resource page to read how we can help support your Long Covid recovery.
Covid-19 wellbeing support for health and social care staff
Now, more than ever, it’s important that we all look after ourselves and each other. Below are a list of resources health and social care colleagues can access for free support.
Staff mental health and wellbeing hubs - set up to provide health and social care colleagues rapid access to assessment and local evidence-based mental health services and support where needed. The hub offer is confidential and free of charge for all health and social care staff.
- Samartians in partnership with the NHS in England launched a confidential wellbeing support line for anyone working or volunteering in health and social care. 0800 069 6222, 7am–11pm every day.
- SHOUT - free 24/7 text support service for anyone who's a key worker during the coronavirus crisis. Text KEYWORKER to 85258 to talk by text with a trained crisis volunteer.