As part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19), GP practices in Leeds have made changes to the way appointments are offered and provided.
Working closely with NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, GP practices in the city have moved the majority of their appointments to telephone or video consultations. Face to face appointments are still offered where absolutely necessary with patients being advised accordingly. In addition any practices that previously provided same-day walk-in appointments have suspended this option.
Local GPs are also encouraging people to download and use the NHS app to access services such as repeat prescriptions as well as self management support for any existing health conditions. And in an effort to get people to the right healthcare professional, local people are being advised to provide as much detail as possible for their call when contacting their local GP practice.
Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“The challenges facing the NHS are unprecedented, and we have been working on making sure our environment keeps patients and NHS teams as safe as possible by making use of telephone and online. We have been working across the city so that all my colleagues working in GP practices are confident in providing a safe and high quality service to our patients while reducing the risk of people catching COVID-19.
“It’s really important that anyone who thinks they have COVID-19 follows NHS advice and stays at home, using the NHS 111 online service should they need any support. You must not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital. Should your symptoms get worse or you feel you’re struggling to cope please call NHS 111.”
Over the coming weeks further changes could see patients with suspected COVID-19 being seen at one location, where invited to do so, to reduce pressure on hospital services. The ‘hub’ sites will only accept patients referred in through NHS 111, where appropriate to do so, with onward clinical assessment at a local level undertaken by a Leeds GP. The sites will not offer community testing for the disease.
For the latest advice on coronavirus please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
• any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
• travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do at www.111.nhs.uk. Only call NHS 111 if you feel you can’t cope or your symptoms begin to get worse.
This post is based on a press release issued by NHS Leeds
Photo: Phil Whitehouse via Creative Commons