This is the advice from the NHS that our local GPs are working to. It explains why they are working in the way they are working. They need to keep themselves safe so that they can serve us all properly and, as they are in the front line of fighting the coronavirus, are often the first to become ill. You can help all our GPs and other medical services by following all advice from the NHS about social distancing and only contacting your GP having first taken all other advice and self-help steps
- Advice and guidance on coronavirus
- Anyone who is unwell should go to NHS111 online first for advice, rather than approaching their GP practice.
- If a case comes to the surgery or extended hours hub:
- If the patient is WELL then: – they should go home immediately and self-isolate – use nhs.uk/coronavirus for advice and guidance.
- If the patient is UNWELL then:
- use PPE as per current PHE guidance for possible cases
- isolate the patient
- if acutely unwell treat as appropriate
- if not then ask them to use NHS 111 online or ring NHS 111 from home or the isolation room
- decontaminate as per the standard operating procedure (SOP).
2. Service implications and priorities
Responding to COVID-19 is already necessitating major immediate changes to how general practice works.
Right now, all practices and their commissioners are asked to focus on six urgent priorities:
- Move to a total triage system (whether by phone or online). This does not mean not advising/treating patients for other health issues, where there is clinical need, or unilateral closing of practices doors, rather ensuring that patients are appropriately triaged to the right health professional setting. The upsurge in telephone calls to general practice means that providing a reliable and timely response for patients has already become a vital operational priority.
- Agree locally with your CCG which practice premises and teams should be used to manage essential face-to-face services.
- Undertake all care that can be done remotely via appropriate channels, guided by your clinical judgement.
- Prepare for the significant increase in home visiting as a result of social distancing, home isolation and the need to discharge all patients who do not need to be in hospital
- Prioritise support for particular groups of patients at high risk. Next week the NHS will be writing directly to all patients in this category, and you will receive further advice shortly
- Help staff to stay safe and at work, building cross-practice resilience across primary care networks, and confirming business continuity plans.
The NHS are doing their bit to help us but we must do our bit to help them.
- Don’t go out unless it’s essential;
- If you do go out keep 2 metres away from anyone else
- Safely check on elderly relatives and neighbours to see they have food etc.
- Keep everyone’s morale up with phone calls, face time, skype. I got some stamps in so we will even be sending people letters and cards.
- Keep an eye out for changing Government advice and do what they say!!
This will come to an end and society will return to a normality which may be different from the normality of only two weeks ago. Being patient, helps you, your family and your neighbours. Above all it helps our front-line workers in the NHS, food supply chains etc. Lets all buy time for the NHS.