GPs thank the public
Friday 24 April 2020
Staff in GP surgeries want to thank people in Northumberland for their support in the fight against Coronavirus.
The public’s understanding and cooperation is much appreciated by NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) during this difficult and unsettling time.
GPs are, however, urging people to contact their doctor’s surgery if they need immediate care for urgent and persistent health conditions and not delay doing this due to assumptions that GPs are too busy or over concerns around being exposed to Covid-19 if they require to be seen face-to-face.
Dr Graham Syers, a GP in Alnwick and Clinical Chair at the CCG, said: “My colleagues and I are truly humbled by all of the support we are receiving. Whilst we are very grateful for and impressed with how quickly people have adapted to recent changes, we believe some patients with serious and persistent symptoms are not contacting us.
“We appreciate that it is difficult and can be unnerving having to access care in different ways and sometimes in different places, but there’s no need to be concerned. Although we will most likely be in personal protective equipment when you see us, and we may ask you to wear this too, please don’t be alarmed. We need to ensure we protect both ourselves and those that visit practices.
“It’s vitally important that people with urgent medical needs get in touch with us. Please contact your GP practice either by phone or online. You can also contact NHS 111 for urgent medical advice.”
Most initial consultations are being performed remotely with the use of telephones or video consulting where possible and no one is permitted to enter a practice building without first speaking to someone over the phone or online.
The CCG is working to ensure that care continues to be linked up between community, local authority and hospital services. Community and practice nurses are continuing to care for those with short-term support needs and long-term health conditions. GPs are also spending more time supporting frail people at home or in care homes where Coronavirus appears to be having a great impact.
Dr Syers continued: “The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in practices in and across communities working more closely together and using technology to keep in touch, plan and discuss and solve issues together. We have been working to adapt and ensure there is sufficient capacity across Northumberland to deal with all healthcare concerns.
“I would like to thank everyone for heeding the advice to stay at home. I would also like to thank everyone for showing their appreciation for all those working in the essential services. The clapping every Thursday evening is proving an emotional and very welcome experience for us all.”