Accessing GP services in Sheffield during coronavirus

Thursday 9th April 2020

Accessing GP services in Sheffield during coronavirus
NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced that GP practices and pharmacies will be open on Easter bank holidays to provide treatment to those that need it.
GP practices are usually closed on bank holidays but to relieve pressure on hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak and what will be an extremely busy time, GP practices will be offering appointments on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Practices will be closed on Saturday and Sunday as usual, if you need urgent care during this time the Walk In Centre on Broad Lane will be open.
GPs and practice staff are the frontline of the NHS and although they are working differently during the covid-19 outbreak, they are still providing services to the public to help those that need urgent care to be able to access it.
Dr Terry Hudsen, GP and Chair at NHS Sheffield CCG, explains: “Since the outbreak of coronavirus GP practices across Sheffield have rapidly adapted to working in new and innovative ways to make sure patients are still able to access GP services. To help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the city and create as safe an environment as possible, practices have moved to a telephone triage system.
Patients can still access the services that they need but the services are being delivered in a slightly different way – by telephone or video conference where possible. Face to face appointments will be offered where absolutely necessary but we are trying to keep people from physically coming to the practice as much as possible. This is to keep patients and staff as safe as possible.
“Practices will be operating as usual on Good Friday and Easter Monday as we want to ensure those who need care from their GP have that option available and don’t turn up to  A&E unnecessarily.”
If you need to see a GP or practice nurse for something other than coronavirus, contact the usual number for your practice. The practice staff will arrange a telephone triage.
To help stop the spread of coronavirus, practices have been identified across the city that will see only patients with suspected coronavirus symptoms, staff will be wearing full personal protective equipment to protect the patient and themselves. The practices will be deep cleaned between each patient.
Other practices in the city will see patients with conditions who aren’t showing coronavirus symptoms and haven’t knowingly been in contact with those that have. This means that if you do need a face to face appointment you may have to attend a different GP practice than your usual one.
If you have to visit a practice you will be given instructions on how to keep yourself and practice staff safe when visiting the surgery, please follow their instructions.
Dr Hudsen, added: “Please follow government guidance – stay home and save lives. The main symptoms of coronavirus are a continuous, new cough and a high temperature. If you have these symptoms it’s really important that you don’t go to places like your practice or pharmacy. Instead, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ - only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.”
For a list of pharmacies open over the bank holiday weekend please see online here https://bit.ly/SheffieldPharmacyEaster20, remember to follow social distancing rules if attending a pharmacy and follow any instructions given to you.
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