While there have been many changes in how patients access care during the past few weeks, a range of clinical staff working in general practice are on hand to offer advice to patients about health concerns.
There were 107,870 general practice appointments in May, up from 103,926 in April. Meanwhile there were 1,157 fast track referrals for conditions which required investigation by a hospital specialist as soon as possible, which was up from 768 in April.
It is important that anyone who has a health concern continues to contact their surgery. While they should not turn up in person without an appointment, they should telephone on the usual number as soon as possible.
After a clinical assessment, patients who need a face-to-face appointment may still be given it though they may be asked to be seen at a neighbouring practice to the one with which they are registered. The exact time and location of a face-to-face appointment will always be communicated to a patient by their clinical team.
Consultations can also be held by video and this option is being taken advantage of by many registered patients.
Outside normal practice hours, the extended hours ‘GP Care Wakefield’ service is running between 6pm and 10pm on weekday evenings and between 9am and 10pm on weekends.
To access the service, patients should ring their usual practice number before they are redirected to a trained clinician who can assess their issue.
NHS Wakefield CCG Clinical Chair Dr Adam Sheppard said: “In May we have seen that patients have begun to arrange more appointments with their general practice and this is encouraging.
“We don’t want anyone to put off a health concern; please contact your general practice by telephone as soon as you can.
“There are many ways we are able to assist patients, whether that is in person if necessary, via video consultation or over the telephone. Please do contact us if you need us.
“If we do need to see you in person, we will always ensure that we do so in a way that keeps you and everyone else in our practices safe.”