PHC is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak very closely and will continue to do so.
We are following the advice set out by Public Health England and working closely with our parent company, AXA PPP healthcare.
Please see the below, before contacting PHC. If you are unable to find an answer to your query, we will be more than happy to assist.
For up to date information about the new coronavirus outbreak (external link)
For an overview of the illness COVID-19 and stay at home advice (external link)
Use the NHS 111 online (external link) coronavirus service if you have symptoms which could be due to the new coronavirus – for example, cough, fever, shortness of breath, and:
If you are looking for information regarding how COVID-19 may affect your travel plans, please follow the guidance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (external link).
Symptoms are similar to those of the seasonal flu and will often begin with a cough, fever and shortness of breath. They are also common of many other respiratory infections.
Our plans provide cover for the cost of diagnostic tests when requested by a specialist we recognise, after you have been referred to them by a GP. This is not a scenario that a member suspected of having COVID-19 would currently find themselves in. This is an evolving area, however, and we will be keeping it under review.
We understand some private vendors claim to be offering tests for the new coronavirus for use at home and then posted back to the vendor. We do not know if these tests are effective. Please note that Public Health England (external link) has advised against rapid tests in the community or at home because there is no published evidence that these tests are suitable for this use.
Anyone who is concerned about COVID-19 should visit the NHS (external link) ‘Overview – Coronavirus (COVID-19)’ resource for information and guidance.
For up to date information and guidance for employers and businesses, please use the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Public Health England resource COVID-19: guidance for employers (external link).
And, if you are concerned that you may have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your business, Public Health England has published guidance for offices about how and where to clean and what cleaning fluids to use. See the resource COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings (external link).
NHS England (external link) has announced (21 March 2020) an agreement with the independent sector to reallocate its national hospital capacity en bloc to the NHS.
David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said today: "Independent hospitals are boosting emergency capacity to put at the disposal of the NHS over these coming weeks. We have worked hand-in-hand with the NHS for decades and will do whatever it takes to support the NHS in responding to this pandemic. This significant additional capacity across the country will be a major boost to the NHS’s efforts to treat those patients that need hospital care over the coming period and the independent sector stands ready to maintain that support for as long as needed."
As part of this agreement, private hospitals will be reimbursed, at cost – meaning no profit will be made for doing so.
With unprecedented levels of demand on NHS services across the UK, we understand the requirement to prioritise resources and focus on the needs of the most vulnerable. We will work in partnership with our private hospital partners to support our members at this challenging time.
While it is too soon to say exactly what this announcement will mean for members accessing upcoming private hospital treatments, we would expect that patients in both the private sector and NHS will be affected by delays to non-urgent, in-patient, elective surgery.
For the moment, the advice for members who have treatment booked in the next 2 to 4 weeks is to contact the hospital where their treatment is booked, whilst we engage with the hospitals to establish the specifics of how they propose to phase in this change.
All our members throughout the UK will continue to be able to access the majority of other services that are available through their PHC healthcare plan. Depending on their plan, this could include:
• Consultations with specialists and practitioners over the phone and online (where clinically appropriate)
• Cancer treatment at home (where appropriate)
• Phone and online assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions
• Access to our 24/7 Health at Hand helpline staffed by nurses, midwives, pharmacists
• Mental health support services, including access to counsellors