GPs tell patients: 'We're open for you'

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LMC says 'we are open' - Credit: Submitted

GP Practices are open for patients.

That's the message being put out loud and clear by  the  Devon Local Medical Committee because as chairman Dr Bruce Hughes says: "There is a misguided perception that GP surgeries are closed – that is not the case."

‘General practice is open’ say Devon and Cornwall GP leaders

During the pandemic, GP practices have been extremely busy, remained accessible and have offered face to face appointments to patients based on clinical need.

Additionally, general practice has been at the core of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, delivering the majority of doses to hundreds of thousands of patients across Devon and Cornwall.

General practice has also worked with hospitals to try to ease pressures on their Emergency Departments.

Now that the national lockdown is easing, Devon Local Medical Committee would like to reassure the public that:

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⦁    All GP practices remain open for patients. 

⦁    If you require an appointment, then the most appropriate appointment will be offered and discussed with you. The appointment may be face-face, by telephone, e-mail or another route. The GP practice will do everything to protect your safety and that of its staff.

⦁    Routine annual checks for long-term health conditions may have been delayed by the lockdowns, but they have not been forgotten, and GP practices will contact patients as soon as is safely possible.

⦁    GPs and practice staff are working hard to keep you safe by running your local Covid-19 vaccination programme. Please make sure you book an appointment when asked to do so.

Dr Hughes said: "If a patient thinks that they need treatment, advice or support from general practice then they should contact their GP surgery as usual. We are open, we are here and we have been working consistently throughout the pandemic to deliver safe and effective care."

People can find the most appropriate healthcare service to meet their needs by looking online at NHS Service Finder. If you need help now, and you're not sure what to do go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111. If you think it's an emergency call 999.