A senior doctor is reassuring people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) that GP services are available if they are feeling unwell.
Dr Nicola Smith is Chair of the three clinical commission groups serving BLMK. She said: “Since the coronavirus outbreak some people have been unsure of how to access medical help whilst following government advice or have been reluctant to seek medical help for fear of catching the virus. I would like to reassure the public that although GP practices have had to adapt to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect patients and staff, the GP surgeries are still providing their service and anyone concerned about their health can get the help they need.”
In addition to consultations, GP practices are still offering a range of primary care services including blood tests, routine vaccinations, long-term condition reviews, repeat prescriptions, medicine reviews, and ante and postnatal checks.
What has changed is the way many GP services are now being delivered. Where possible consultations are now conducted remotely over the telephone or by video link. If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, the patient will be told what to do.
All patients should first contact their GP practice either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed. Do not go to the practice unless advised, as this will minimise any risk from coronavirus and enable the practice to continue operating safely.
It is important to remember that coronavirus is still with us. So anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms (a new continuous cough or fever or loss of/change in smell or taste) must stay at home. If the symptoms worsen or you are unable to manage at home, please refer to the NHS Covid 19 website page . If you have no way of connecting to the internet, call 111.
But if you don’t have coronavirus symptoms and you think you need primary care help and advice, don’t delay – contact your GP practice. For more information visit www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/.