The UK’s coronavirus lockdowns have led to confusion for patients seeking to book appointments according to one Salford GP.
Blackfriars Medical Practice on Chapel Street has expressed that, during the first lockdown in particular, confusion amongst its patients in booking appointments was of particular concern; “at the beginning there was [confusion]”, “people didn’t know what was open”.
While the situation has since improved since for Blackfriars, with up to 40 patients a day now being seen, their capacity to operate during lockdown is still reduced, with referrals taking much longer than usual.
If you would like to see your doctor face-to-face, please speak to your GP first over the telephone to explain your symptoms, depending on the problem you will be given an appointment to attend. #GPAccess pic.twitter.com/Gs3JlaUiMg
— NHS Salford CCG (@SalfordCCG) April 19, 2021
Blackfriars are one of the many GPs in the country to have adopted ‘askmyGP’, a service that allows for patients to communicate with their GPs via text and receive advice and treatment without having to call or book an in-person appointment. Patients are urged to use this service before attempting to book a face to face consultation, so that a GP may evaluate if it is necessary.
The Willows Surgery, have told of their commitment to provide information on what to do during the pandemic. They said: “we give as much advice as we can”.
The Willows also insisted that patients check the advice on lockdown restrictions from the government website if they are still unsure on what they should do.
Like Blackfriars, The Willows also affirmed that face to face consultations would be limited to only the most necessary cases, with most appointments being handled through the telephone; “GPs aren’t seeing people face to face” unless the GP feels the need to see a patient in person.
If your GP utilises ‘askmyGP’ and you are curious about how it works, information can be found on their website: https://askmygp.uk/
To keep yourself informed on what you can and cannot do under the latest lockdown and pandemic restrictions, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus