Statement from NHS England and NHS Improvement on Coronavirus

The director of the NHS’ response to the coronavirus outbreak has reminded people concerned about infection to call NHS 111 for advice.

The intervention from Professor Keith Willett follows inaccurate reports that the third patient in the UK to be confirmed as having the virus had gone to A&E for help.

The NHS has today confirmed that the third patient took the right approach in calling NHS 111 when they had concerns, and so got help quickly while avoiding any risk to other people.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director, said: “This patient did the right thing when they had concerns about coronavirus by calling NHS 111 for advice.

“After a telephone assessment, they were advised to make their way to Royal Sussex County Hospital Brighton for testing. Following a pre-arranged plan with the NHS they drove themselves to the hospital, were tested in isolation and away from public areas of the hospital, and returned home in isolation in their own car.

“Any travellers from China and the other specified countries who have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath are advised to follow the example of this patient and call NHS 111 for advice.”