At Whitby & Co. and the Fleet Street Clinic, we strongly believe in our duty to protect our colleagues and patients alike, independently of Government regulations. We have stayed open since the start of the pandemic, delivering key health services for our patients, face-to-face and without interruption, but with no compromise on safety.
Despite the recent changes to isolation legislation and access to testing, you can rely on the fact that we plan to keep regularly testing all our staff for the foreseeable future – using highly sensitive rt-PCR tests in our own onsite lab. The benefits of rt-PCR testing means the infection is detected much earlier, rather than at peak infection which is when lateral flow tests only turn positive. We will advise our employees to continue to isolate in the event of a positive test: we prefer to pay our staff to stay at home, rather than risk spreading Covid-19 among colleagues or to our patients.
Whilst we absolutely recognise that the Omicron variant is less severe than previous dominant strains of SARS-CoV-2, we are not willing to compromise the health and wellbeing of our employees or patients when the severity is so unpredictable person to person. For peace of mind and to protect those most vulnerable, we will continue to wear face masks and prevent infectious individuals from entering our premises.
Our internal strategy appears thus far to be successful: although a number of us have inevitably had Covid-19 over the course of the pandemic, there have certainly been no outbreaks among staff from workplace transmission.
Beyond this, you can rely on the fact that all our staff are fully vaccinated, and indeed (like all health workers) were prioritised for vaccination from the earliest opportunity.
Whatever your reason for coming to see us at 29 Fleet Street – whether for an eye examination, a GP appointment, travel vaccines, or to use any of our other services, you can be confident that we have all been vaccinated and have had a recent negative coronavirus test. And this extends to if any of us come and see you at your home, office or place of work, you can be completely assured that we have used all our resources to protect you, your family and your colleagues.
Following the confirmation of the new variant of coronavirus found in the UK, we have taken many enquiries regarding our PCR testing technology at Fleet Street Clinic and its ability to detect this new variant.
Please feel assured that our suite of Covid-19 rt-PCR detection equipment can confirm the presence of this new variant alongside the previously known strain.
We understand identifying this new variant of SARS-CoV-2 may cause concern due to its higher rate of infection compared to the previous known strain. However, rest assured, there is no evidence to suggest it causes more serious illness or would disrupt the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Prof Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) which advises the UK government, said the new strain is likely to become the dominant global strain and it is therefore important our equipment is able to adapt to change to identify mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
At Fleet Street Clinic, we have developed a comprehensive portfolio of COVID-19 diagnostic testing solutions including multiplex rt-PCR detection and antibody testing and are able to provide rapid test results for diagnosis and travel purposes. This positioning hasn’t changed since this new strain has emerged. We pride ourselves on constantly adapting to meet the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to do so should any further genetic variations be identified on the SARS-CoV-2 genome.
For more information about our Covid-19 testing options, click here.
UK: Public Health England
Worldwide: The Johns Hopkins Center
Covid-19 testing is available at Fleet Street Clinic, including PCR testing for active infection, antibody testing for confirmation of past infection and PCR testing for travel purposes including travel certificate.
Samples can be collected in-clinic, during a home from the nurse or using a self-sample home testing kit.
For more information:
Alternatively, please call our reception team on +44 20 7353 5678 to see which option is most appropriate for your current circumstance.
Virtual GP Appointments:
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), please do not leave your home. That includes coming into the clinic, any other GP surgery, a pharmacy or a hospital.
We’d suggest you can book a virtual GP appointment with one of our doctors. You can discuss your health concerns and symptoms by telephone or video call.
Alternatively, you can use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, always call 999 for an ambulance.
If you have symptoms you should self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear. More details about self-isolation can be found here.
For further information about coronavirus (COVID-19) or read answers to common questions about it.
How to stop the spread of Coronavirus:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Wash your hands as soon as you get back home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Recommended information sources:
Gov.uk: For the latest guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals, businesses, schools and other organisations.
Public Health England: For the latest information about the situation in the UK, along with guidance for what to do if you think you’re at risk. You can sign up for email alerts from PHE concerning coronavirus updates here.
NaTHNaC: For travel health advice for travellers to countries/areas affected by COVID-19
World Health Organization (WHO)
Our Medical Director and Travel Specialist Dr Richard Dawood, has been at the forefront of the conversation, sharing insight and opinions as the pandemic unfolds:
The Telegraph: Vaccine passports for travellers ‘unavoidable’
The Guardian: Vaccine passports ‘essential’ for resumption of international travel
The Sun: Covid vaccine questions answered – from when you can hug again to delaying 2nd dose
Times letters: Strategy for combating the coronavirus
The Telegraph: Staycations to face masks – 5 ways coronavirus could change the way we travel
The Telegraph: Why flying can make you ill – and how to stay healthy on board a plane
CNN Travel: Travel and the coronavirus pandemic: Everything you need to know
CNN Health: 7 of your latest coronavirus questions, answered
Express: Coronavirus: When will it end? Experts reveal if virus could die off in warmer weather
Express: Coronavirus protection: Best way to prevent the deadly virus spreading through the eyes
Mirror: Everything you need to know about flu jabs and why you should get one before Christmas
Please note: All information stated is correct at time of posting.