Coronavirus: Call for those without appointments to stay away from GP surgeries

Dr Richard CullenDr Richard Cullen
Dr Richard Cullen
PHONE your GP first — that is the message from Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group to people seeking advice as practices aim to minimise face-to-face contact with patients.

Chairman Dr Richard Cullen said stringent measures were being put in place to reduce the risk of infection to surgery doctors, nurses and reception staff. 

“All of our surgeries are still open but we are trying to minimise the amount of people coming the door,” he added.

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“Instead of anyone coming in, we are advising them to phone through first. We want to reduce the risk of any of our staff getting symptoms.”

Dr Cullen confirmed all “routine work” would be cancelled, which includes annual checks, but stressed surgeries will be increasing phone capacity.

Signs with instructions to patients have been placed on all surgery doors.

Those at Thorpe Hesley Surgery yesterday greeted visitors with a warning to “Stop!!!” before advising them to call from home first and that only those with appointments should knock for entry.

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Dr Cullen urged patients with upcoming appointments with regards to a cancer diagnosis to attend, as there had been a rise in the number of people not turning up.

“We cannot stress enough that patients should still attend as treatment for important health matters like this need to be undertaken as soon as possible,” he said.

Patients needing prescriptions are able to either contact their pharmacist directly, use the electronic system or call their surgery.

Dr Cullen said: “Patients are still able to come into the practice to pick up medication. If you can’t, a lot of pharmacies offer a delivery service.”