During the lockdown, people can still contact their GP practices by calling for appointments as they would normally. Patients who require medical advice will be given a video or telephone consultation and only asked to visit the practice if this is deemed necessary by the clinical team. This will reduce the risk to you and the clinical team and is in line with current lockdown guidance.
It is important that anyone who has symptoms of covid-19 does not leave home and this includes going to their GP practice. GP practice staff will be there to provide care for those who need it for all other medical conditions and concerns, including for those with long term conditions and for those needing immunisations. Patients can also continue to access the out-of-hours (evening and weekend) GP services. These appointments can be booked through your practice or if the practice is closed, their automated message will contain the number to call for your local out-of-hours service.
There are four main ways to seek healthcare advice from a GP:
· Call your surgery to discuss a face-to-face or virtual (telephone or video) appointment;
· In some practices you can visit your GP surgery website and complete a confidential online form to receive a response before the end of the next working day;
· Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice;
· Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms.
How to get the most out of your GP appointment?
Top tips on getting the most out of your appointment includes:
· Be friendly – to all members of the staff you encounter especially the reception staff. Use polite language that will help you to be listened to.
· Being empowered, your voice counts – remember you are in control of your care. Be confident to talk through why you are there.
· Be prepared – think about what you would like to discuss and the outcome of the appointment. Be on time and explain your symptoms as best as possible including what medications/drugs/alcohol you currently take.
· Be clear – before leaving your appointment make sure you understood everything that was clear. Write things down if it will help you remember.