GP practices responding to Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining access to services
As the NHS continues to respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, local GP practices have implemented their own business continuity plans.
To minimise the risk of infection to patients and staff, practices have changed how they work, which includes working with other local GP practices to make the best use of combined facilities and staff.
When contacting your GP practice, you will undergo an assessment (called triaging) of your needs to determine whether you may or may not have Covid-19 symptoms. Wherever safe and appropriate to do so a member of your practice clinical team will undertake your consultation via telephone or through a video consultation.
If after the initial assessment, your doctor or other clinician feels that you require a face-to-face consultation then this will be arrange to take place.
However, so that the risk of infection to staff and other patients is minimised and to help slow the spread of the virus, all patients with Covid-19 symptoms who require a face-to-face appointment will be required to attend a specific GP practice in your local area.
All patients without Covid-19 symptoms who require a face-to-face appointment will be required to attend a different GP practice in the local area.
You will stall be able to contact your registered GP practice on the usual phone number and your GP practice will advise you of the exact location of your face-to-face appointment at the time of booking.
This might mean that your usual GP practice building is closed temporarily, but you will still be able to access GP services as detailed above. If you have an appointment with another service which is usually provided from this building (eg ante-natal clinic) your practice will contact you separately to advise where this appointment will take place).
We appreciate that this may mean increased travel for you and apologise for any inconvenience in advance. All GP practices across Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston are adopting this new way of working to minimise the risk to patients and staff whilst trying to maintain access to services as much as possible. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
What to do if you think you have Covid19?
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
- for health information and advice, use the NHS website
- for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
- for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.