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Herefordshire GPs make changes to protect patients and staff during the Coronavirus pandemic

Herefordshire’s General Practices approach to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Cases of Coronavirus have been increasing in the UK and it is expected to continue to see more cases in Herefordshire over the coming days and weeks.

In order to protect healthcare staff, patients and the general public, in particular the most vulnerable members of society, NHS Herefordshire CCG and Taurus Healthcare are changing to the way that Herefordshire General Practice operates during the crisis.

Dr Mike Hearne, Managing Director at Taurus Healthcare Limited on behalf of all Herefordshire General Practices 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. Anyone needing an appointment will first be spoken to on the phone or via video. This will help to protect vulnerable patients, staff and the wider population. For the vast majority of cases, this will be sufficient to diagnose and advise on the issue. Face-to-face consultations will be rare and only offered if it is felt important in determining a patient’s management or for an intervention, for example to take a blood test.

“If a face-to-face appointment is considered essential, patients may be asked to attend a surgery at a different location to the one you are used to. Please rest assured that your notes will be securely accessible from the new location.

“The changes are necessary given the serious situation we are facing and to ensure that GP services are as resilient as possible during the crisis period. We ask you to please play your part to enable the NHS to play theirs.”

Lynda Dando, Director of Primary Care for NHS Herefordshire CCG added: “All GP practices are working extremely hard to continue to deliver safe and effective primary care services for patients. We understand this is a big change for the way that some people will access these services, but we strongly believe that this is the best way of providing primary care in these difficult times and hope that patients will understand and help us to protect this critical part of our NHS.”

It is vitally important that the public continue to follow Government advice regarding hand washing and self-isolation / social distancing. For full details, please visit the Government’s website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.