If you suspect a stroke, act fast and seek medical help

On Stroke Awareness Day (14 May 2020), GPs are reminding residents across Tower Hamlets that the local NHS is still here for you and it is important you do not wait if you need urgent medical help.

If you think you or a family member have the symptoms of a stroke, you must call 999 immediately. If you are told to go to hospital, it is important that you go.

You can spot the symptoms of a stroke by using the FAST test:

  • Face – can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – can they speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
  • Time – if you see any of these signs, it’s time to call 999.

If you have another urgent medical need, visit NHS 111 online – if you cannot access the internet, call 111. If it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, such as if you or a family member have symptoms of a heart attack, call 999 immediately.

If you need a GP appointment, there are several ways to do this – visit your GP practice website, use an NHS app to book online or call your practice. Most appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional will now be via a phone call, and if you are told you need to see a clinician in person, the NHS has put measures in place to make sure patients are seen safely.

GP practices and hospitals have strict infection prevention and control measures in place, so it is safe to attend appointments. It is important that you continue to attend routine appointments, such as antenatal checks, sexual health advice and contraception, and childhood vaccinations, as normal, unless you have been told not to attend.

In addition, if you are pregnant and are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature), you must stay at home for at least seven days. Anyone you live with should not leave home for 14 days. You can use the NHS 111 COVID-19 online service to check your symptoms and get more advice. Do not go to a GP practice, pharmacy or hospital if you have these symptoms - this is to help limit the spread of the virus.

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