At this stage in the coronavirus pandemic, we should all be aiming to distance ourselves from other people as much as possible. But many people still require medications or need to get medical support for something other than COVID-19
Seeing your GP
Do not attend your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you think you might have coronavirus.You should self isolate and look at NHS inform to see what to do next if you experience signs of fever or a new cough.
We are now seeing the majority of our patients digitally or via telephone appointments. This is to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients and clinicians if people carrying the virus come to the practice.
On The Phone
It is likely that the phone line will be busy if you call the surgery to book an appointment. This is because a large number of people have worries about their health condition and the implications of managing it in a pandemic. A number of clinicians also can't get into surgeries because they are ill. We will largely prioritise those with urgent or serious health concerns, meaning that people with routine or minor concerns may have to wait longer for appointments.
The NHS inform site has many links to information that may be able to answer the question that you have.
Coronavirus: General advice
Coronavirus: Guidance for testing
Guidance for households with a possible coronavirus infection
Coronavirus symptom checker
Coronavirus: Physical Distancing
Ask NHS inform a question
The NHS inform site is excellent and also gives advice with regards to self care, mental well being and care planning as well as advice for parents and families. This advice is available in a number of languages.
If following a telephone assessment we feel you would benefit from a video assessment we will arrange this. You can access this service following GP reviewed via the link above or here. These appointments will be for those who have already been assessed over the phone.
We have switched off online appointment booking so that we can ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms aren't attending the practice.
Face to face
If you do attend the surgery for an appointment, make sure to follow any instructions given to you by staff at the practice. You should continue to take precautionary measures against coronavirus whilst in the practice, as you would in any public setting.
- Using hand sanitiser and frequently washing your hands.
- Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Maintaining social distancing (making sure that there is at least a metre or two between you and another person).
- Wearing a mask if you have one
Getting your prescription
Many pharmacies are currently still open and repeat prescriptions should be available as usual.
If you have a repeat prescription set up already and are self-isolating, see if someone else is able to pick up the prescription for you. If you are isolating, have them drop it off outside your door so that you can avoid face-to-face contact.
Lots of pharmacies or pharmacy services offer a home delivery service. This means that you can get your medication delivered right to your door. Again, ask for the delivery to be left outside if you are isolating. However, do be aware that some pharmacies which previously delivered are now simply too busy to offer this service. That means you may need to make alternative arrangements if you can't collect your prescription, such as asking a neighbour to collect it.
Currently there are no medicine shortages as a result of COVID-19 or coronavirus. Even generic drugs like paracetamol, which have sold out in many supermarkets and pharmacies, have been stockpiled by distributors to prevent supplier issues.
Many medications were also stockpiled to prepare for Brexit, meaning that the country is prepared to prevent shortages.
Individuals are being urged not to stockpile drugs for themselves. Whilst there are currently no issues getting hold of drugs, if everyone tries to get more medication than they currently need it will put strain on the system. Practice have been advised not to issue repeat prescriptions sooner than they're due, and not to issue more than usual. That means that if you usually get a month's worth of medicines at a time, you won't be able to change to a 3 month supply.
People with health conditions which require medication should ensure they have enough to see them through an isolation period (currently one to two weeks).
What if there's an emergency?
If you have a medical emergency and need an ambulance, you should continue to call 999 or the relevant emergency number in your area.
For urgent non-coronavirus medical queries which don't require an ambulance, use NHS 111's online tool or call 111 if you have no access to the internet. There will be a long wait to speak to someone because of calls about coronavirus but they will still take your call.
NHS workers, clinicians and other medical staff are working around the clock to ensure that everyone gets the care they need. The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and unplanned for, meaning that lots of emergency measures are being taken. Be as patient as you can with staff - they are doing their best at a very difficult time.