If the pandemic is over why can't I get a GP practice appointment like I used to?
GP practices have been working hard all through the pandemic to continue delivering services to people. In order to protect people and following national guidance, we must maintain safe infection control and minimise unnecessary physical contact.
What happens when I go to my GP practice?
GP practices are open but are working differently in order to protect patients and staff.
In order to protect the most clinically vulnerable people who are in contact with our health services, some physical distancing requirements remain in place. There is still a requirement to wear face coverings in all NHS buildings including GP practices.
How do I see another clinician at my GP practice?
Many GP practices have a range of specialist staff within their teams to support you with your health needs.
These teams have widened within practices and may include clinical pharmacists to advise you on your medication as well as nursing teams including advanced nurse practitioners and health care assistants, that will help you to manage your long term conditions. We will always direct you to the most appropriate member of our team.
We will always offer you the most appropriate appointment whether face to face, telephone or video. We may also ask you to attend our specialist COVID clinics or attend an appointment at another GP practice in the evening or weekend.
How are practices working now?
Most practices are using a "Telephone First" service.
This allows the team to assess patients over the phone and consider who needs to be seen in person and when a telephone consu ltation or video may be appropriate. This helps to ensure that everyone gets the type of appointment they need, and that people don't have to travel to the surgery if they don't need to.
In many cases the issue can be as effectively managed with a telephone consultation rather than a face to face meeting.
If you need to attend the practice for examin ation you will be given an appointment.
What will reception staff ask me?
GP reception staff are vital members of the practice team and treat all information as confidential.
They ask questions to ensure that patients are directed to the best support, within and outwith the practice.
They are trained to ensure patients are seen by the most appropriate member of the practice team and ensure GPs can prioritise the patients with the greatest clinical need.
Please be patient.
Please be kind.
All our health services are under enormous pressure and our staff are working extremely hard. We are open and here if needed. Please work with us to help us ensure you get the right care, in the right place and at the right time by the appropriate health professional for your needs.
Please treat those who are trying to help you with respect and kindness.
Where else can I get help?
NHS Website (www.nhs.uk) has lots of information, self help guides and up to date information to help you to look after yourself.
Community Pharmacists can help with many common illnesses and can prescribe some medications.
Community Optometrists will advise people with urgent eye complaints.
Community Dentists will manage any dental problems.
What about emergencies?
Visit www.nhs.uk for advice on common symptoms and a list of local services or speak to your community pharmacist first for advice on minor illnesses.
Find your nearest: nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy