Reminder: GP Practices are Safe and Have Adapted to Meet Patient Needs Say Health Bosses

15 September 2020 3:27pm

Reminder:

GP practices are open for business and providing a variety of different appointments to meet your needs, say health bosses at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

During the pandemic, practices across the county have been adapting to news ways of working to prevent both patients and staff being put at risk of coronavirus.

While online consultations, phone and video calls are being used in the first instance, if you need to be seen face-to-face by a healthcare professional, you will be offered an appointment when clinically appropriate.

Online consultations are available across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and details are available on individual practice websites. An online consultation enables you to contact a GP or other healthcare professional over the internet. It saves you waiting for an appointment or going to the GP practice.

You can always call your practice directly or NHS 111 if you do not have access to the internet.

If a face-to-face appointment is necessary and you need to go to your practice, staff will look a little different. You can expect to see receptionists in masks and behind a clear screen, one-way routes through practices, as well as clinicians in full personal protective equipment (PPE).

Social distancing measures are also being observed in waiting rooms and face masks will be needed if you attend the practice. This does not need to be a medical mask, just the same face covering as you would use in a supermarket.

Dr Julian Povey, Joint Chair of NHS Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin CCGs, said: “We know some of our patients may have concerns about being out and about, but we want to reassure everyone that GP practices are safe, having put in place robust infection prevention and control measures.

“Practices are also providing a variety of different appointments to meet our patients’ needs and to ensure that they are kept as safe as possible.

“Although we are still talking to our patients online or over the phone in the first instance, if anyone needs to be seen for a face-to-face appointment they will be seen.”

Steve Ellis, Head of Primary Care at Shropshire CCG, said: “It is important that everyone continues to take care of their general health. If you have a medical concern you should not put off contacting your GP practice.

“Please check individual practice websites for up-to-date information on booking an appointment, as this may vary slightly from practice to practice.

“NHS 111 is also available - it is free to call from any landline or mobile and is open 24/7. Further medical advice is available at 111.nhs.uk.”

For further information on accessing GP services during the pandemic, please click here.