GPs are continuing to embrace Covid working to cut down on the number of people needing to visit their surgery.
What Happens Now?
Patients who want to make an appointment with their GP should call the surgery in advance to arrange an appointment, which may be conducted on the phone, by video link or in person.
When you ring, you will be asked a number of questions to establish whether they have been at risk of contact with a positive case of Covid, a measure which has been in place for the past six months and is now standard operational practice for GPs.
When I get there
Social distancing and the use of PPE is in place in surgeries, staff will make safe arrangements for patients to collect prescriptions and assist with getting medications to patients who cannot collect it themselves. Some services operating from surgeries may be limited during the lockdown.
At some practices entry will be facilitated by a staff member. This mirrors the approach to accessing surgery buildings which operated last spring, and is another safeguard against the spread of infection in line with government infection control guidance.
Seeing the Doc
Patients who require a face-to-face assessment for symptoms that could be caused by coronavirus may be asked to see a doctor in a dedicated assessment unit, rather than at their usual practice.
Units in the north, south, east and west and are being organised by GP surgeries working in conjunction with the DHSC.
Dr Martin Rankin, who is based at MEDS, said: ‘We expanded video and telephone consultations early in the pandemic. They are a safe and effective way to see patients for many problems. You will be seen in person if needed, but we have found that many problems can be sorted out over the phone. This is a good way to stop the coronavirus from spreading in our community.’
Patients with emergencies should call 999 in the usual way.
If you think you might have symptoms of Covid you should remain at home and call 111.