The coronavirus pandemic has meant that the NHS has had to work differently in order to keep staff and patients safe. Local GPs would like to remind local residents that for everyone’s safety, GP Practices will continue to operate a ‘phone first’ system if they feel it would be better to see a patient in person then they have made it safe to do so.
There are four main ways to seek healthcare advice from your GP:
- Call your surgery to discuss a face-to-face or virtual (telephone or video) appointment;
- In some practices you can visit your GP surgery website and complete a confidential online form to receive a response before the end of the next working day;
- Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice https://111.nhs.uk/ ;
- Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms.
Please do not present at A&E unless it is an emergency.
Appointments will carried out in one of three ways:
- by telephone
- via video consultation
- in person at the practice
Face to face appointments will be arranged if they are medically appropriate and considered in the best interests of the patient.
Practices are open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6.30pm.
Patients should also be aware that pre-bookable evening and weekend appointment are also available through the extended access service.
To book an evening or weekend appointment, patients should contact their practice in the usual way.
Daniel Doherty, Deputy Accountable Officer Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“We understand that some people will still feel reluctant or nervous about contacting their GP – whether that is because they don’t want to be a burden or they are hesitant about going into a practice.
“However, I would urge people to seek medical help from NHS 111 or at their local GP Practice if they have a health issue. GP Practice staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure local people get the help that they need. For everyone’s safety, we are still asking patients to contact our GP practices remotely – and we have adapted really well to this new way of working – but if we feel it would be better to see a patient in person it is safe to do so.”
If you are waiting for a check-up, please be assured your practice will be in touch. Appointments are being delivered face-to-face, online and over the telephone to manage demand. Remember, if you are asked to come into a surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please wear a face covering. These measures are in place to keep you safe from infection during your visit to the surgery”.