Heywood GP and HMR CCG Chair Dr Chris Duffy said;
“GP practices had to rapidly change the way in which services were provided when the pandemic hit, in order to keep patients and staff safe. We had to provide alternative arrangements for patients to access our services to prevent the free flow of patients into the surgery. If we hadn’t done this, by the nature of our service, GP practices would have been the first port of call for patients who did not know they had coronarvirus potentially spreading the disease. We have been able to transform the way we give care utilising telephone and virtual consultations where possible and when a face to face appointment has been necessary, we have used the protective equipment and measures available to us.”
“We are grateful to the many staff who have worked tirelessly in the most challenging of circumstances and have gone above and beyond to care for our patients. We must also thank the vast majority of patients who deal with their practice in a respectful way, but, unfortunately, there are a small number of people who can be abusive towards our staff and other patients which is disappointing when we are working so hard in a pandemic.
“We know some patients may have also delayed contacting their GP practice over the past few months because they may not have wanted to put additional pressure on services. We have been, and are, very much open for business so I would urge any patients who may be delaying seeking help to make an appointment as soon as possible. You can also continue to support us by seeking help when you need it from the most appropriate service.”
As lockdown eases, don’t forget your local high-street pharmacist can provide expert health advice with minor illnesses like coughs and colds, sunburn, hay fever and diarrhoea. You don’t need an appointment and they can even provide you with the right medicines at the same time.
The NHS’ 111 service is available 24/7 to provide advice, treatment and care. Just ring 111 or visit https://111.nhs.uk/ for advice and the service will refer you to the most appropriate option for your needs. If you need a face to face consultation, they can book you a time slot.