Essential GP and dental appointments remain available in Herts during coronavirus pandemic
- Credit: Archant
Essential NHS services remain available to everyone who needs them during the coronavirus pandemic, a leading Herts GP is keen to emphasise.
Doctor Prag Moodley - a Stevenage GP and chairman of the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and buys the county’s health services - said: “We know people are protecting themselves and others from the coronavirus by staying at home and following government guidelines. However, it’s important to remember the NHS is still here for you and your family if you need us.
“No–one should be put off contacting their GP practice or dentist if they are concerned about their general health or have a symptom which needs checking out. Don’t let worries about catching Covid-19 stop you from seeking advice.
“Your local surgeries have made arrangements for telephone and video appointments and, when it’s necessary, face-to-face appointments can still be carried out with a GP or nurse in a way that is safe for patients and staff.”
If you are concerned you have Covid-19 symptoms, do not visit a health setting. Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19 for advice and information.
Dr Moodley explained: “All of our local NHS services - including GP surgeries, hospitals and community services - are working with their national counterparts to meet the needs of people who are very ill with covid-19, while ensuring all other important health needs are still met.” To do this, temporary changes have been made to services.
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GP appointments are via phone or video, with face-to-face appointments only if essential. Get in touch with your surgery if you have a health concern.
If you have a dental emergency during your surgery’s usual opening hours, get in touch with your surgery directly. If it is out of hours, consult NHS 111 online or by phone.
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Stevenage’s Lister Hospital has a visitor ban, but A&E patients can take one person if needed.
Lister is no longer treating minor injuries or illnesses, so the Urgent Care Centre at Welwyn Garden City’s New QEII Hospital has increased staffing.
Planned and non-urgent surgery has been cancelled and some health screening checks postponed, unless very urgent.
Patients can order repeat prescriptions without going to their GP surgery, and can collect them directly from a pharmacy.