Doctors and other healthcare professionals working across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) are urging people not to take risks with their health by failing to seek help when they are feeling ill.
Since the coronavirus outbreak the number of GP appointments and visits to local hospitals has fallen dramatically. This has raised concerns that many people are so afraid of catching coronavirus they are avoiding going to a doctor even though they need medical attention.
Dr Nicola Smith is Chair of the three clinical commission groups serving BLMK. She said: “The NHS has had to adapt to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. But it still has the resources to treat people with other health conditions and it’s important for anyone who is concerned about their physical or mental health to get help.
“If you have any symptoms that you’re worried about, get them checked by your GP. If you have a hospital appointment, please attend unless you’ve been told not to.
“If you are a parent with young children, make sure they have their routine vaccinations. And if you are pregnant, continue going to your antenatal classes or contact your midwife if you have any concerns about your or your unborn baby’s health.
“Don’t take risks with your health. If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you.”
All GP practices are open and offering phone, video and face-to-face appointments. Anyone needing urgent medical help can use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111. For a serious or life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, call 999.