Ian Charleson Day Centre

Monkeypox

Several cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in the UK - the most recent cases are in men who have sex with men (MSM). If you are concerned that you have monkeypox or have been exposed to monkeypox please call 020 3758 2029 option 2 for advice.  PLEASE DO NOT COME TO ICDC.

The latest information and guidance for people with HIV is available via the BHIVA website: www.bhiva.org/BHIVA-rapid-statement-on-monkeypox-virus.

Take control of your appointments

You can now reschedule or cancel your appointments using My RFL Care, our patient portal. Click here to sign up or log in.

Our services are back to normal, this includes face-to-face appointments.  We encourage everyone to have a face-to-face appointment at least once a year.

You should have been informed when booking your appointment whether your next appointment will be face-to-face or via phone or video. If you are unsure, this information should be available via the My RFL Care patient portal.

For telephone consultations you will be contacted in the morning or the afternoon that corresponds with your appointment time. The number will appear as a withheld number, please try to answer.

For video consultations you will receive an email or be sent a link along with instructions for joining via our remote service ‘Attend Anywhere’.

When you visit ICDC in person you may need to show evidence of your appointment to gain access to the Royal Free Hospital. Please ensure you have a letter or a text message confirming your appointment to show when asked. If you have any problems entering the hospital, please call the ICDC or ask security to do so on your behalf. In keeping with government guidance you will be asked to wear a face covering at all times whilst you are on hospital premises. A mask will be provided if you do not have one. 

Blood tests

If you are a registered patient of the Ian Charleson Day Centre, you are now able to use our 'walk-in' service for blood tests. This means you do not need to make an appointment. 

Blood tests are usually recommended every six months for most patients.

Sometimes we may need to monitor your blood test results more frequently, our team will let you know if this is the case.

If you need an HIV test or are considering transferring your HIV care to our clinic, please call the nurses on: 020 3758 2029 or visit ICDC, Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm.

Medication

Your prescribed medication can now be collected in person (unless you receive your medicines via Sciensus, previously known as Healthcare at Home).

If you are unable to collect your medication in person please let your clinician or the pharmacy team know.

Emergency walk-in service

Our emergency walk-in service is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm. Please call the nursing team on: 020 3758 2029 before attending as staff will be able to specify a time to attend to help minimise waiting and ensure you are seen by the appropriate team. If possible, please also perform a COVID-19 lateral flow test before attending the service and only attend if the test is negative.

If you have a cold, cough or flu-like symptoms, you must call the nurses first on 020 3758 2029 before visiting.

Please note that this service is only open to people who are registered at ICDC for their HIV care.

Sexual health

If you are registered at ICDC for your HIV care, you are also able to use our sexual health service which is run by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL). The team at CNWL are available during the following times:

Tuesday: 11am-5pm (by appointment only)

Thursday: 10am-5pm (by appointment only)

Friday: 10am-3pm (walk in service)

If you would like to book a sexual health appointment, please call the ICDC nurses on: 020 3758 2029 and select option two.

For routine asymptomatic STI screening, self-sampling kits are available for ICDC registered patients that also reside in a London borough. This service is provided by Sexual Health London (SHL), you can visit their website here: www.shl.uk

COVID-19 (coronavirus) information 

COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly recommended for people living with HIV.

You can book your COVID-19 vaccination on the GOV.UK website here.

Treatment for COVID-19 

It is recommended that those with HIV seek treatment for COVID-19 if they become infected. This includes HIV positive people with one of the following:

  • those aged over 55 years
  • CD4 under 350
  • AIDS diagnosis in last year
  • those with detectable viral load
  • are receiving treatment for diabetes
  • kidney failure
  • liver cirrhosis
  • those with moderate or severe asthma
  • those with heart failure
  • those who are overweight (BMI over 30)

More information on treatment for COVID-19 can be found on the NHS England website here.

Your GP will contact you if they are aware of your HIV status. Otherwise you should contact NHS 111 for a referral to a COVID-19 treatment centre.

Looking after your mental health

Resources to help you look after your mental health are available online via the Better Health 'Every Mind Matters' NHS website.

We know people may still feel vulnerable and socially isolated as we navigate through different stages of the pandemic. It may be helpful to form links with others and use technology to speak to friends and family if you are uncomfortable with meeting them in person. We want you to look after for your emotional wellbeing and enjoy re-engaging with social events and activities again but at the same time, take care of yourself.

If you are struggling at home or are feeling isolated, a Royal Free Charity volunteer can call you – please email: rf.royalfreesupporthub@nhs.net with your name and phone number.

One of our community nurse specialists can also support you via a clinic appointment, phone, email or text if you are struggling at home as a result of isolation or have concerns around your health, benefits, HIV or general advice, and are not currently receiving psychological support by our team. Please speak to the ICDC nurses if you feel this would be of benefit to you and let us know how you’d prefer to be contacted. This can be a single occurrence or organised on a more regular basis if you find the support helpful.

Our clinical psychology and liaison psychiatry services are also here to help. These will usually be face-to-face appointments, but telephone and video consultations are also available. If you are not already using these services, please discuss with the ICDC nurses or your regular doctor during your consultation if you think you may benefit from the service.

Mental health web-based resources

Please speak to your clinician if you would like further resources. Please note that by clicking on these links, you will be taken to third party websites.

Psychology Tools: Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty (available in multiple languages)

MIND: provides helpful suggestions for managing isolation

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust: self-help booklets on anxiety, sleep, depression, stress, anger, bereavement (and many more)

NHS mental health: Mental wellbeing audio guides for depression, anxiety, sleep problems, negative thinking

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust: Post-traumatic stress disorder: leaflets to help manage PTSD symptoms including:

  • coping with re-emerging PTSD
  • coping with flashbacks and dissociation
  • coping with nightmares and sleep
  • coping with anger and irritability
  • using grounding techniques
  • using special place imagery
  • using progressive muscle relaxation
  • using controlled breathing

GetSelfHelp: Mindfulness resources

Headspace: Mindfulness app

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust: Alcohol and You

GetSelfHelpSubstance misuse workbook (supporting you to overcome substance misuse)

Norfolk County Council: Domestic Abuse - Power and control wheel

GetSelfHelp: Coping with suicidal thoughts

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