Changes to County Durham GP Practice working during Covid-19 Pandemic
GP surgeries across County Durham have put new safety measures in place to help protect patients and staff in response to the threat of Covid-19.
All County Durham GP surgeries remain open but have closed their doors to ‘walk-in’ patients as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Doctors’ instead are using telephone, online and in some cases video consultation appointments to ensure that continued care is provided to patients.
Chief officer for NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioing Group (CCG) Dr Stewart Findlay said: “Our number one priority at the moment is to keep our patients and staff safe.
“Although all practices are still open we are asking patients NOT to go into their GP surgery for any reason before first contacting the practice and a need for a face-to-face appointment being agreed.
“All patients will go through an initial ‘triage’ assessment, which will enable practices to prioritise appointments for those most in need and allow health professionals to provide the most appropriate treatment.”
Patient can request repeat prescriptions online through practice websites or by using the NHS App and anyone not online can still contact their surgery, who will advise them how to order their medication.
Health advice is also available to patients by completing an online (eConsult) form on their local practice website.
In line with current guidance patients experiencing Coronavirus symptoms: a high temperature, feeling hot to touch on the chest or back or a continuous cough, coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours – are being asked to seek help and advice using NHS111online services at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or by calling NHS111.
“It is essential that GP practices respond to the current situation and adapt to new ways of working, to allow those in greatest need to receive the best, safest care as quickly as possible,” added Dr Findlay.
“But it still remains vital that everyone continues to help stop the spread of this virus by following Government advice by staying at home, helping to save lives and protect our NHS.”