COVID-19 Help and Advice for Senior Fellows

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21 Mar 2020

Dear Senior Fellow

Covid-19 advice and help

Although we are no longer in active practice there is still a lot we can and should do to help our clinical colleagues who face a pandemic such as none of us faced in our working lifetimes.

The following is based on the advice current as of Friday 20th March. We have been in contact with the President who wishes to ensure that all our senior fellows are kept up to date and informed about the current advice on isolation and distancing. He wishes all senior fellows to know that the college whilst at present largely working from home is nevertheless open for advice help and support as always.

Hand hygiene and social distancing are at the heart of reducing disease transmission. As surgeons we became used to frequent hand washing, and for longer than the 20 seconds now advised. Hand washing on return from every venture out of the house should become the norm. Frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home should be cleaned and disinfected; and we should strenuously avoid touching our faces.

Social distancing is more challenging for our age group, with no group activities and no visits from family or friends. Many people have found it helpful to work on the assumption that everyone outside your immediate household has the virus and keep your distance i.e. 2 metres

We should aim to stay at home but do remember to exercise in the home and garden (if we are fortunate enough to have one). Try to get out for at least one walk each day, choosing a quiet location where there are few others around, and preferably not using public transport. For food shopping the supermarkets have dedicated times for over 70s and priority for home deliveries for over 70s. If we  have to go to the shop for food/prescriptions try to maintain that social distancing at all times and as soon as we  return home from shopping, wash our hands! Another option is to ask neighbours, friends or family to collect shopping and prescriptions and (perhaps the hardest part of all this) to just drop it off at your door. Friends and family should not visit, but is important to keep in regular touch by phone and social media.

Internet access will become ever more important over this period, and the College Library services team led by Steven Kerr will be available to help Senior Fellows who have IT queries.   They stress that they are not the IT team but they will be able to help with simple queries and point you to someone else for any more complex queries.  You can reach them on +44 (0) 131 527 1632 or  and our library services are available online here

If anyone develops a raised temperature, or a new cough that lasts for a day you should self-isolate at home for 14 days, along with all others in the house. If you live alone then self-isolation should be for 7 days. If symptoms worsen, or you develop breathlessness, you should dial 111 for advice.

For home entertainment you may wish to watch recent Senior Fellows talks. You can watch the following talks on YouTube by using the links shown.:     Jan 2017 Ian Gardner :  “Rosslyn Chapel “     Dame Sue Black: “Anatomy in the modern forensic world”      June 2019 Elizabeth Cumming 

This is a challenging time for everyone. If any Senior Fellow wishes help or advice please feel free to contact us or If you have queries or suggestions about how the pandemic is being handled at a national level, please feel free to contact the president, who is in daily contact with the Chief Medical Officers.

Keep working at the hand hygiene, the social distancing and do keep in touch.

Best wishes,

Iain Macintyre                                                                                   Mike Griffin Gordon Drummond                                                                        President Joint Secretaries, Senior Fellows Club                                      Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 


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