A message from the Rheumatology Department at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (updated May 2022):
” We advise that everyone should remain vigilant and apply common sense to precautions due to the ongoing high numbers of covid-19 cases in Cornwall. The covid-19 vaccination does not prevent people developing the infection, but reduces the severity of the symptoms. We would encourage people to obtain the yearly flu vaccination, and be up to date with a pneumonia vaccination where eligible. This also applies to the covid-19 booster or third/forth vaccine. The current advice is patients who received a 3rd primary vaccine (not ‘booster’) should still have a booster (4th vaccine) 6 months after their 3rd primary dose. For information on obtaining vaccinations, please use the NHS website, or contact 119.
The wearing of face coverings is no longer compulsory, except at the hospital and other healthcare settings. We would advise you should continue to apply common sense and consider your own risk. The following site https://www.versusarthritis.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-assessing-your-risk/ may help you to understand your individual risk.
As previously, all medications should be continued, unless specifically advised by your rheumatology specialist. If you have any queries or concerns, please discuss these with your GP, local pharmacist or contact the rheumatology advice line (rheumatology patients only).”
ANTI VIRAL TREATMENT FOR COVID-19
Some people are eligible for anti-viral treatment if test positive for covid-19, either with a lateral flow test (undertaken at home, with results within 30 minutes) or PCR (undertaken at home or at a walk in centre, where the test is sent away to gain a result). The eligibility criteria for these treatments is changing on a regular basis. If you think you may be eligible for treatment, contact your GP, 111 or 119 service.
The government site provides advice on all aspects of Covid-19 including latest guidance –
COVID-19 IN CORNWALL
Cornwall Council provide useful local Covid-19 information on:
-How to get a Covid-19 test
-Financial help available
-Health & wellbeing
-Local Covid-19 data (e.g. numbers of cases)
-Local outbreak plan
Information about Covid-19 for rheumatology patients at Derriford Hospital can be found at https://www.plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/rheumatology-patient-information
NATIONAL RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS SOCIETY INFORMATION ON COVID VACCINATIONS
General vaccine information:
ADVICE FROM THE NHS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD COVID-19
Your COVID recovery is now live: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ . This is a new NHS website proving health advice, guidance and links to support for people who have ongoing symptoms and health needs after having COVID-19. There are specific sections about fatigue and musculoskeletal, shoulder and back pain
COVID-19 AND MENTAL HEALTH
DELAYED PHYSIOTHERAPY OR SURGERY
If your physiotherapy or surgery for your arthritis has been delayed there are things you can do for yourself whilst waiting for treatment. If you have chronic pain in your knees and / or hips because of osteoarthritis, then the ESCAPE Pain programme can help. It is available online https://escape-pain.org/ESCAPE-pain-Online or via an App https://escape-pain.org/support-tools/escape-pain-app
You can find information on how to manage your condition here https://www.cornwallarthritis.org.uk/self-management/
Arthritis Action UK have produced a set of videos which talk you through the principles of self management which you may find useful: https://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/onlinesme
You can find some tips on pain management here https://www.cornwallarthritis.org.uk/managing-pain/
More information about managing pain at home, including useful exercises can be found here https://www.csp.org.uk/conditions/managing-pain-home
WORKING FROM HOME DURING COVID-19
Many people are working from home at the moment. Public Health England have provided some tips on how to avoid getting aches and pains when working from home: PHE WFH advice
Cornwall Healthy Workplace has a very useful set of resources related to Coronavirus and workplace health which you may find helpful:
OTHER USEFUL LINKS:
Exercises you can do at home for arthritis, back pain, knee pain and chronic pain
The NHS has produced a number of videos for Pilates inspired exercises aimed at people with arthritis, chronic back pain, knee pain or chronic pain.
Chronic pain, including Fibromyalgia: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/ms-and-fibromyalgia-pilates-exercise-video/