Coproduced by WSPCF and Reaching Families

General Information

The information on Coronavirus on these web pages has been written and compiled by West Sussex Parent Carer Forum and Reaching Families using trusted local and national resources. Given the picture is changing daily we cannot take responsibility for the information or any actions taken as a result. We will be adding more information as and when we receive it so please keep visiting these pages to stay up-to-date.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

We know that families caring for a child with SEND may be particularly worried about the COVID-19 coronavirus. We therefore wanted to share some information for parents and carers that might help.

You can access current UK Government Guidelines and advice here

How do I avoid catching and spreading the virus?

Currently the best advice is to follow the NHS guidelines. This includes washing your hands with soap and water regularly for 20 seconds – encourage your child to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ whilst they’re doing it, or say the Lord’s Prayer! If you are outside of your home, you can use hand sanitiser gel. Remember to catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue or in the crook of your elbow.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The NHS has identified the symptoms as experiencing either: –

·         A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
·         A new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing continuously

Should I go to the doctor if I have a temperature or cough?

No. The NHS advise that anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. If you get worse or your symptoms last longer than 7 days you should call NHS 111.

Carers and Visitors

Agree a plan with any carers, including PAs, who enter your home and ensure they are strictly following the NHS guidelines. This includes family and friends who may visit.

The NHS have published a ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it‘ poster, which you could download and put up around your home if that helps.

Treatment plans and medical appointments

If you can, continue to follow your agreed treatment plan. If you have an appointment at your GP surgery or hospital, please check beforehand if you should attend.


Whilst there is no need to stock-pile large quantities of medicines, ensure you have adequate supplies, especially of prescribed medication. If you run out, find out how to get an emergency prescription here.

There is a lot of conflicting advice around the use of paracetamol and ibuprofen to treat the symptoms of Coronavirus. There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse. But until more information becomes available, NHS England recommend that you take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.

If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.

Holidays and travel

If you are planning a holiday, or intending to travel, there is some useful advice on the government website. It also includes guidance for those returning from abroad.

Meetings and events

If you have booked to attend a meeting or event, please check before you set out whether it is still happening.

The health and wellbeing of our families is paramount to WSPCF. We have therefore cancelled all our own events for the foreseeable future, and will not be attending meetings until the situation improves. Our office also remains closed until further notice, but our team are working from home and can be contactable via our email address ( or our Facebook page.

Getting professional help

If you think you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus, or if you have any non-emergency concerns about your health, that of your child, or those in your household (including family members and carers), use 111 online. Tell them that you are a parent carer and explain your situation. For emergency situations, call 999 immediately.

Where else to go for information and advice

There are a range of useful sources of information and advice available for those in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

WSPCF will continue to monitor the situation and we will keep you informed of new advice as it becomes available. To connect with other West Sussex families facing similar challenges, please follow our Facebook page. Remember, we are still here for you, even though we’re having to do that in a slightly different way than usual!