‘It Couldn’t Have Been Easier’ Says One Patient on Seeing their GP during the Pandemic
A patient who was shielding has shared her personal experience of accessing her local GP practice during the first coronavirus lockdown with health leaders at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and says ‘it couldn’t have been easier’.
Health bosses have been advising residents across the county that GP practices continue to provide healthcare advice throughout coronavirus, and how they see patients has changed.
Beverley Ashton from Newport, Shropshire, who is a member of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG’s Assuring Involvement Committee, wants to encourage others to see their GP if they have any health worries.
Beverley experienced some concerning health symptoms at the end of March. As the UK was in lockdown, she called NHS111.
Beverley said: “The NHS provided a really good and reassuring response. After speaking to them I called my GP practice as advised and was offered a video-call appointment with my GP.
“The practice sent me a text message with the weblink. It was easy – I just had to click on the link to connect. It was good to be able to see my GP on video call.
“I discussed my symptoms with my GP, who then asked me to email him a couple of photos of the area of concern. I took photos on my phone and emailed them straight after the video call.
“Later the same day my GP called me back, diagnosed my symptoms and prescribed some medication. As both myself and my husband were then advised to shield, my medication was picked up from the pharmacy by a friend.
“Luckily, my condition improved after the course of medication. I was very happy with the swift service and treatment I received from the GP. In fact a week later, my GP called me up to see how I was doing – I thought that was really reassuring and comforting and made me feel even more positive about the healthcare that I received.
“I was seen very quickly within one day and accessing my GP appointment could not have been easier. It’s important for people to know that their GP surgery is open and all you need to do is call them up to find out how you can get the best healthcare for your needs.”
Dr Julian Povey, Joint Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCGs, said: “We are keen to hear about patients’ experiences accessing their GP practices and I’m pleased that Beverley had such a positive experience.
“During coronavirus, GP practices have remained open and have adopted new ways of working to help minimise the risks to both patients and staff.
“GP practices are offering different types of appointments depending on the health concern. Patients will be offered a phone appointment first and this may be followed up with an online appointment such as a consultation or video call over the internet with your GP or healthcare professional.
“If you need to be seen face-to-face, you will be offered an appointment at the practice. When you attend your appointment you must wear a face covering, keep a two metre social distance and use hand sanitisers.”
Patients are urged not to visit their GP practice without an appointment or if they have any symptoms of coronavirus (a new, continuous cough; a high temperature; a loss or change in sense of taste or smell.)
If you have any of these symptoms, you and everyone in your household and support bubble must self-isolate. You should call 119 to book a test as soon as possible and do not leave home for any reason other than for a test.
For more information about coronavirus symptoms visit the NHS website.