Doctors across south east London are asking patients not to put off contacting their GP surgery if they need to consult a doctor or nurse during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Fewer patients have been consulting their doctor or nurse for their usual health issues or new physical or mental health problems during this pandemic and this is concerning doctors as there may be people out there who need medical advice and whose conditions may worsen if they don’t get it.
Contact your surgery if you feel unwell – please do not ignore your symptoms particularly if you have a long term condition or your mental health gets worse. It is also important that parents of babies and young children get in touch with their practice to arrange for their routine immunisations and that women who are pregnant or new mothers contact their surgery if they are worried about their own or their baby or child’s health.
Dr Jonty Heaversedge, Southwark GP and Clinical Chair of NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: “During this Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve all heard the message to stay at home as much as possible and it’s great that people are doing this. GPs are still here for you though and it is important that you contact your surgery for advice or to make an appointment when you need to.
“So, if you need medical advice about something other than coronavirus don’t put off calling your surgery online or by telephone and they will advise you on whether you need to see a doctor or nurse.”
Although the Covid-19 pandemic means that patients are asked to contact their surgery online or by phone rather than go in person, doctors are still able to see patients via video conferencing or telephone consultation.
Doctors and nurses can also still see and examine patients in person if this is necessary. This may or may not be at your regular practice because, working together, surgeries across south east London have made arrangements to try and ensure that they assess people with symptoms of COVID-19 separately from other patients.
It is important to follow any guidance your practice has in place to keep you safe and continue to follow the government’s guidance to prevent the virus spreading. The NHS has also published information about how access health advice at home.
Stay safe and get the help you need when you need it.