photo of woman holding red stethoscope 3408368 - NHS is open! Don’t delay – call your GP with any health worries

NHS is open! Don’t delay – call your GP with any health worries

GPs are assuring residents across City and Hackney that the local NHS is ‘open for business’ and ready to safely provide care to people who need it. It is important you do not wait if you need urgent medical help.

Dr Mark Rickets, local GP and City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chair, said: “We know that some people are worried that they might be a burden to the NHS, or that they could contract COVID-19 if they seek help for an urgent medical issue at the moment. I want to reassure you that we are here for you and are taking measures to keep you safe as possible from Covid-19.”

If you need to book a GP appointment – or get urgent medical help from a duty doctor between 8.30am and 6.30pm, contact your practice in the usual ways including visiting your GP practice website, or use an NHS app to book online or telephone your practice.

Most appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional will now be via a phone call or video, and if you are told you need to see a clinician in person, the NHS has put measures in place to make sure patients are seen safely. Your NHS is still here for you and it’s important you get the help you need.

GP practices and hospitals have strict infection prevention and control measures in place, to keep you as safe as possible if you need to attend an appointment. It is important that you continue to attend routine appointments, such as antenatal checks, sexual health advice and contraception, and childhood vaccinations, as normal, unless you have been told not to attend.

Community pharmacies across City and Hackney are also availalble. Before visiting your local pharmacy, first check the opening hours on the NHS.UK website. When you visit you must comply with the social distancing measures in place to protect yourself and staff.

If you have an urgent medical need between 6.30pm and 7am visit NHS 111 online – if you cannot access the internet, call 111.

If it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, such as if you or a family member have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 999 immediately. If you are told to go to hospital, it is important that you go.

In addition, if you are pregnant and are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.

Shirley Peterson, Head of Midwifery at Homerton Hospital has said: “The Homerton maternity service continues to work hard to ensure you have a safe and positive experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any concerns or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us via our Maternity Helpline (0208 510 555 open 10am-6pm daily) or our Delivery Suite (0208 510 7251/ 7352/ 7353).”

Routine dental treatment is postponed until further notice due to COVID-19. If you have an urgent dental problem please call your dentist first – your dental practice will assess your dental problem and offer you appropriate advice and guidance. If you do not have a dentist, please call NHS 111 if think you are in need of urgent dental care.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature), you must stay at home for at least seven days. Anyone you live with should not leave home for 14 days. You can use the NHS 111 COVID-19 online service to check your symptoms and get more advice. Do not go to a GP practice, pharmacy or hospital if you have these symptoms – this is to help limit the spread of the virus.