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Why are GP practices working differently Posted on 1 Oct 2021

GP practices are open but the pandemic is not over. In south east London there are still thousands of people getting Covid-19, with hundreds in intensive care. GP practices worked hard to stay open and treat people throughout the Covid lockdowns and continue to do so. To protect everyone, we must maintain safe infection control and minimise unnecessary physical contact.

How are practices working now?

So that the people with greatest need are seen first; and so we don’t ask people to travel and come into contact with unwell and infectious people, you will be assessed to decide who needs:

  • to be seen in person by one of the team
  • a phone consultation
  • a video consultation
  • help from a community pharmacy or another health service

How can I contact my GP?

You can contact your GP practice on the phone, but if you are able to and if your practice offers it, the best thing to do is to fill out an online form on the practice website. You will then be contacted with the best appointment for you. 

If you need help with minor injuries at any time or urgent care when your GP practice or pharmacy is closed visit 111.nhs.uk or dial 111. 111 can also book out of hours appointments.

You can access NHS 111, contact your practice and get your Covid Pass using the NHS App. Search NHS App in your app store.

Why do receptionists ask personal questions?

GP reception staff are skilled professionals and ask questions to make sure you see the right person at the right time and treat all information confidentially. If you don’t want to speak on the phone, where possible fill in an online form on the practice website.

I wanted to see my GP, so why am I seeing someone else?

Many GP practices now include a range of professionals like nurses and paramedics. This means you can often be seen more quickly and not need to be seen by lots of different people.

Where else can I get help?

Always dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency.

Visit www.nhs.uk for advice on common symptoms and a list of local services or speak to your community pharmacist first for advice on minor illnesses nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy

Please be kind

GPs and hospitals are under enormous pressure, but we are open and here if needed. Please continue to be kind to our staff, socially distance where possible and wear a face mask in healthcare settings.

Abuse of our staff is never acceptable. The NHS Constitution is clear that violence, or the causing of nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises may result in prosecution or people being refused access to NHS services.

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