Your GP practice is open
12th November 2020 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in
NHS leaders and GPs in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are reminding patients that their GP practice is open during the lockdown period and that they should contact their practice for medical advice and treatment.
The reminder comes as the NHS enters the busy winter period and attendances at the emergency department at Leicester Royal Infirmary start to rise.
Local GP Sulaxni Nainani said: “Local GPs are concerned that patients think practices are closed or offering a reduced service. Some practices may actually look closed because fewer people are attending for face to face appointments.
“This is not the case; practices are open, face-to-face appointments are available but they are working differently as a result of coronavirus and the need to keep patients and staff safe.
“For example, how you contact your practice is different at the moment. This is to limit face-to-face contact whenever possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
“If you need to see your GP, please ring or visit the website but please do not go to the surgery unless you have an appointment.
“Appointments are being delivered face-to-face, online and over the telephone. If you are asked to come into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please remember to wear a face covering. Measures are in place to keep you safe from infection during your visit to the surgery. Your GP will decide on the most appropriate way to meet your needs.”
Consultations for symptoms which can be diagnosed remotely will take place over the phone or via a video link. This has proven to be very effective, with some patients preferring to be treated from their home.
However, patients could be asked to attend their practice for a face-to-face consultation if their GP feels it is necessary, for example, if they need to be physically examined.
Because more people are contacting practices by phone, some patients may experience delays when calling, but please bear with your practice.
Patients with Coronavirus symptoms should not attend their practice. They should call their practice or NHS 111 who will assess them remotely and book an appointment at an appropriate setting if patients are clinically assessed as needing to be seen in person.
People experiencing Coronavirus symptoms also need to self-isolate with their household and book a test immediately by going online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
For other urgent care services, people should contact NHS 111 first. This will ensure that they can access the best possible services whilst protecting themselves and others.
In the case of an emergency, people should call 999.