General practitioners in southern Cumbria ask for patient patience and support

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GP staff ask for patience and support as they go through their busiest time ever.

While legal restrictions such as social distancing and wearing a face covering ended in July in many places, they are still needed in healthcare facilities to ensure the safety of patients, the most vulnerable and the staff. This includes general medicine, dental offices and hospitals.

Dr Ed Clarke, GP and Clinical Director of the Kendal Primary Care Network, said: “Additional safety measures such as wearing face covers and limiting the number of people in surgeries at a time are still in place. for the NHS, it is to ensure that we can always provide effective services and protect our most vulnerable patients and staff.

“If your GP feels that a face-to-face appointment is necessary, this will be arranged and patients will be seen by a GP or other appropriate member of clinical staff, which has been the case throughout. the pandemic. There are also pre-bookable evening and weekend appointments for those who need them. Please ask your practice for details.

“Many common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your GP through a phone or video consultation. “

The NHS said people may find it takes longer to contact firms by phone than they are used to.

If it is not urgent, there are alternative options, such as online consultations. This is where an online form can be filled out on a health issue and is accessible via a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Once the questions on the form have been answered, an SMS or an e-mail will be sent to you confirming that the online consultation has ended, advice is given on the procedure to follow. If the GP’s office needs to get in touch, they can suggest a phone or video consultation.

Before the pandemic, the offices of general practitioners were already very busy. Today, general practitioners are treating more patients than ever.

From January to June, practices in Morecambe Bay held more than 800,000 appointments for residents, and the latest national survey of general practitioners in March showed that over 86% of residents in Morecambe Bay who participated, reported their overall experience of their GP. was good, and in some areas was above the national average. In addition, around 86% also said they were satisfied with the date offered to them.

Dr Clarke said: “GP practices are seeing an increase in demand that is higher than we expected at this time of year. We are working hard to treat patients as soon as possible and ask for patience while we do so.

“Most practices still use a phone system first to help manage the growing number of contacts or ask patients to use their online service where possible, to ensure that everyone receives the most appropriate assistance. its needs.

“In addition to general practitioners and nurse practitioners, other health professionals such as pharmacists, physiotherapists and social prescribers work to support our patients. The role of our receptionists is to assign you the right healthcare professional, so they may need to ask you questions about your condition.

“They will treat your information with the same strict confidentiality as healthcare professionals.

“This way of working is essential to help us continue to provide our service, including seeing patients whose condition requires to be seen by a general practitioner.

“We would like to thank all of our patients for working with us throughout the pandemic and for always wearing face coverings, following the rules of social distancing and for their continued kindness and support when using our services


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