COVID-19 - guidance for secondary care

Publication Date: 27 March 2020



This is version 8.2. If you do not see this version when you open the document, please refresh your browser as you may be seeing a previously cached version.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Clinical presentation may range from mild-to-moderate illness to pneumonia or severe acute respiratory infection. Because of this, patients with COVID-19 could present to primary care either via telephone or in person.  

It has been announced by the UK/Scottish Government that as of 16 March anyone developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, however mild, should stay at home for 7 days from the onset of symptoms as per existing advice. In addition, it is now recommended that anyone living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days.

Information on COVID-19, including stay at home advice for people who are self-isolating and their households, can be found on NHS Inform

Further, people are advised to take social distancing measures to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. In particular, this is strongly advised for people aged 70 or over, people with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. Further advice on these measures will be available on NHS Inform.​

Please note that this is an evolving situation and the most up to date guidance should always be checked on ​our COVID-19 page​.​

Also available on this page​

Infection prevention and control
19 March 2020

The four UK countries are adopting the COVID-19 guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings. This official guidance was produced jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), Health Protection Scotland and Public Health England. This guidance is consistent with the current infection prevention and control advice and guidance that has been issued to and used by NHS Scotland to manage the ongoing response to COVID-19.

To support the implementation of this guidance Public Health England has produced short videoclips for the correct order for putting on (donning) and the safe order for removal (doffing) and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

COVID-19: donning of PPE for hospital clinical staff

COVID-19: removal and disposal of PPE

Obtaining an upper respiratory tract diagnostic sample
20 March

Health Protection Scotland, with support from stakeholders, has produced a short video clip to support colleagues required to obtain an upper respiratory tract diagnostic sample.

This resource describes the techniques involved in obtaining an upper respiratory tract COVID-19 diagnostic sample and covers the:

  • options available in relation to COVID-19-Upper respiratory tract samples
  • technique involved in obtaining a nose swab
  • technique involved in obtaining a throat swab

Obtaining an upper respiratory tract diagnostic sample

If you are experiencing issues accessing the above video via YouTube please try the alternative version that can be accessed on Vimeo.

Resource information

Health Protection Scotland
Publication type:
Guideline and Guidance