Advice for your Patients

Medical/support advice for patients related to COVID-19. This advice is continually changing so do check regularly for updates.

Click on the tabs for information.


For most people coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

This has been discussed with our consultants and senior IBD CNS and this is our current guidance, please be aware this is an evolving situation;

Having IBD does not put you in a high risk group, so if you are on no medications for it, are on topical therapy only, or oral mesalasine (Salofalk, asacol, pentasa, octasa) then you are not considered to be in a vulnerable group and should follow guidance for the general public. 


Patients on immune suppression and biologics

(Azathioprine, Mercaptopurine, Methotrexate, Adalimumab, Infliximab, Vedolizumab, Tofacitinib, Ustekinumab)


It appears that you are at NO increased risk of getting coronavirus being on any of these medications.  Immune suppression can increase the risk slightly of having more severe symptoms if  you were to catch it, however most severe cases have been in the over 70s and those with other health conditions.  We strongly feel you are much better to remain on medications and remain well in yourself.


If you stop your medications you then have a risk of flaring up and a high chance of needing steroids (which also supress the immune system) or if severe needing admission to hospital.  If you were then to catch coronavirus you would be in a much worse position to fight it than if you catch it when you are otherwise well and on your medications.


You should follow basic hygiene rules and good handwashing. 


We cannot give individual advice on whether you should work from home; you should discuss this with your employer and occupational health if you have this available to you.  You can look at most recent guidance on social distancing on the government website then click on covid-19, then scroll down and click on guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people.  This is the same information we have and we advise you to read it and make a decision from that.  If you are on immunosuppression and/or biologic you are considered a vulnerable person.


There is also guidance on the government website for employees and employers.


If you are on high dose steroids (over Prednisolone 20mg per day) or are on steroids plus biologic plus azathioprine/mercaptopurine we consider you at a slightly higher risk and you may want to apply social distancing measures more stringently.


Patients on biologic infusions should still attend, if you are over 70 and /or have other health conditions such as diabetes, chest problems, heart problems then please let your IBD nurse know


You can also look at information provided on


If you feel you have symptoms of coronavirus such as high temperature over 37.8 degrees Celsius, or new continuous dry cough (i.e. coughing repeatedly) you need to self isolate for 7days (if you live alone) or if you live with others the whole household needs to self isolate for 14 days as per government advice (you can find specifics on what this involves on the 111 NHS website mentioned below or the website mentioned above.

Other symptoms can be shortness of breath.


If these symptoms are mild and flu like you should continue all of your IBD medications.


If you have severe symptoms or feel unable to cope with your symptoms at home you should look at the NHS 111 website; (or call 111 ONLY if you cannot access their website for advice), they may advise you on your medications and we recommend following any advice they give you.       


Hackney Leisure & Physical Activity Team have been working closely with its delivery partners to provide exercise opportunities for Hackney residents during the pandemic and beyond. Please note that the web pages are evolving all the time, so check back regularly for updates. 



Exercise with Fit 4 Health instructor Helen McGinley who delivers a gentle exercise routine. Suitable for beginners and those with mobility issues. 

To view the video visit or


NEW AGE GAMES - 50+ programme 

Exercise with New Age Games instructor Rosaleen Lyons with this afro-soca exercise video routine. Suitable for beginners. 

To view the video visit or

Rosaleen Lyons Afrocafitness Beginners Chair Based Class - (20 minutes) 

To view the video visit  As I write, this video will also be uploaded to ttps://



Self-led walks for lockdown- Walk Hackney 

Sean Gubbins delivers a range of walks of interest across Hackney, as well working in partnership with Hackney Council to extend this offer.

Sean has used his knowledge and creativity to offer self-led history focused walks to do in your permitted daily exercise during the current lockdown. The routes are snippets of Walk Hackney’s walks, devised and led by Sean Gubbins since 2002.  

To relieve pressure on the parks at this time, these routes are largely through
local streets. Please remember to:
● Keep to the 2 metre social distancing from people you pass by;
● Take care crossing roads - use controlled crossings where possible.

To view these walks please visit - 



1.    The following information provided by the Council in respect of exercise is for informational and educational purposes only.  Please consult your doctor or health care professional before undertaking any physical exercise or activity, particularly those with medical conditions.  All physical activity and exercise by children should be undertaken with appropriate parental supervision and guidance.  If you experience any pain, discomfort or other injury please consult your doctor or healthcare professional and seek medical advice.

Exercise considerations

1.    Wear comfortable clothing/footwear. 

2.    Ensure you have enough room to do the exercises.

3.    Bring water to your workout.

4.    Please ensure you do the warm-up component before progressing to the main exercises as this will get the body ready for exercise and help prevent the risk of injury to muscles and joints. Also please ensure you cool-down after the main activity as it will aid the body to return to its pre-exercising state and help to reduce soreness and stiffness.

5.    Should you feel severe discomfort/pain during exercising stop the activity.


Patients Resources for Lower Limb and Lymphoedema Self-Care

Accelerate, the Provider of the Lymphoedema Service, have developed some patient resources to support with self-care and managing at home during COVID-19. The page also has a messenger function that can help answer common queries about care for these areas.

Access it by clicking the link below:


Click here for COVID-19 Information in Community Languages

Doctors of the World have published advice in 20 languages – produced in partnership with the Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice.

Advice sheets are available now in English, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, Farsi, French, Hindi, Kurdish Surani, Malayalam, Mandarin, Pashto, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese. Coming soon: Polish, Punjabi, Romanian.

You can find them on their Google drive here.

Patient Resources for Wound Self-Care

The below resources provide key information to support patients with self-care for wounds. They’re recommended by Accelerate CIC- Local Wound and Lymphoedema Specialists.

Patient Resource on Wound Self-Care


Instructional Video on how to dress a wound


Shared Care Document- Clinician/Patient- See wound diary on the last page


Patient Resource on Self-Care for a Skin Tear

A leaflet for people on the shielded list - click here