Treatments for COVID-19

The NHS offers treatment to people with COVID-19 who are at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill. You’re eligible for COVID-19 treatment without being admitted to hospital if all of the following apply:

  • you’re aged 12 or over
  • you’re at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • you have symptoms of COVID-19 less than 5 days since onset
  • you have tested positive for COVID-19
Who are at highest risk?

You may be at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you have:

  • Down's syndrome, or another chromosomal condition that affects your immune system
  • certain types of cancer, or had treatment for certain types of cancer
  • sickle cell disease
  • certain conditions affecting your blood
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
  • severe liver disease
  • had an organ transplant
  • certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease
  • HIV or AIDS and have a weakened immune system
  • a condition affecting your immune system
  • a condition affecting the brain or nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, myasthenia gravis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease or certain types of dementia
  • certain lung conditions or treatments for lung conditions

This list is a summary and does not cover everything.

If you're unsure if you are eligible, speak to your doctor or hospital specialist who can advise you.

Find out more about people at the highest risk who are eligible for COVID-19 treatment on GOV.UK

The NHS has a COVID medicine service to provide access to treatments in the community. You will need to have free test kits for your personal use if you feel ill and be concerned about COVID. 

Rapid lateral flow tests will soon no longer be available via GOV.UK or via 119.

You may be able to pick up free rapid lateral flow test kits from your local pharmacy. Find out about how to get tests from a pharmacy if you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatments.

Find a pharmacy near you

If you cannot get tests from a pharmacy, you may still be able to use the GOV.UK service for a short time.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are uncertain about what to do, you should immediately contact NHS 111, your GP practice, or for some people, your hospital specialist if you have been advised to do so. You will be able to discuss whether they need to refer you for an assessment for treatment.

You also have the option for self-referral and can access COVID-19 treatments in your local area via a COVID-19 Medicine Delivery Unit (CMDU). For residents in Cheshire and Merseyside and those registered with a Cheshire and Merseyside GP practice, the local CMDU provider is Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

If you test positive and would like to refer yourself for an assessment for COVID-19 treatment, you can do so by contacting Mersey Care using the phone number below:

0151 296 7222 (lines are open from 9-5, 7 days a week)

Before you contact the CMDU, please make sure that you have a positive Lateral Flow Test (LFT) result within the last 5 days and your COVID-19 symptoms started within 5 days. If your symptoms started more than 5 days ago your local CMDU cannot provide you COVID-19 treatment as community treatment is effective when given early. In this instance, please contact NHS 111 your GP practice or hospital consultant for other treatment options.

When contacting the CMDU, you will be asked to provide the following information to get you registered onto Mersey Care's system:

  • Full name
  • NHS Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Address including post code
  • Your GP practice
  • Date of most recent positive lateral flow test (LFT)
  • Date when your symptoms started
  • Contact details (a telephone number is essential)

Please remember, this service can only provide COVID-19 treatment if you are well enough to stay in your usual home. If you are very unwell or would like to seek help for any other illness or concern, please contact NHS 111, your GP practice or, in an emergency, 999.

More information for COVID-19 treatment is available at:

For information on how Mersey Care uses your information, please see their Patient Privacy Notice.