GP surgeries in Redditch, Bromsgrove and across Worcestershire have changed the way they work to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect vulnerable members of the community and healthcare staff.
Patients who need a doctor’s appointment should now ring their GP surgery rather than turn up at the surgery to book one.
Staff will then assess a patient’s need over the phone to ensure they are cared for by the right person in the right place for their illness.
If a consultation is required, in most cases these will be over the telephone or by video call rather than face-to-face.
If a face-to-face appointment is considered essential, a patient will be asked to attend a surgery at a different location to the one they are used to.
Dr Jonathan Wells, GP Primary Care lead for coronavirus across Worcestershire, said: “We understand patients are anxious, however, the changes we are making are because we want to keep the public and NHS staff safe and well.
“The changes are necessary given the serious situation we are facing and to ensure GP services are as resilient as possible during the crisis. We ask you to please play your part to enable the NHS to play theirs.”
Lynda Dando, director of Primary Care for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, added: “All GP practices are working extremely hard to continue to deliver safe and effective primary care services for patients, including remaining open this Good Friday and Easter Monday.
“We understand this is a big change for the way some people will access these services, but we strongly believe this is the best way of providing primary care in these difficult times and hope patients will understand and help us to protect this critical part of our NHS.”