GPs are assuring residents across Tower Hamlets that the local NHS is ‘open for business’ and ready to safely provide care to people who need it. It is important you do not wait if you need urgent medical help.
Dr Sam Everington, local GP and Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chair, said: “We know that some people are worried that they might be a burden to the NHS, or that they could contract COVID-19 if they seek help for an urgent medical issue at the moment. I want to reassure you that this isn’t the case and we are here for you.
“If you need a GP appointment this Bank Holiday Friday, there are several ways to do this - visit your GP practice website, use an NHS app to book online or call your practice. Most appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional will now be via a phone call/ video consultation, and if you are told you need to see a clinician in person, the NHS has put measures in place to make sure patients are seen safely. Your NHS is still here for you and it’s important you get the help you need.”
GP practices and hospitals have strict infection prevention and control measures in place, so it is safe to attend appointments. It is important that you continue to attend routine appointments, such as antenatal checks, sexual health advice and contraception, and childhood vaccinations, as normal, unless you have been told not to attend.
Community pharmacies across Tower Hamlets will also be available this bank holiday weekend. Before visiting your local pharmacy, first check the opening hours on the NHS.UK website. When you visit you must comply with the social distancing measures in place to protect yourself and staff.
If you have an urgent medical need, visit NHS 111 online – if you cannot access the internet, call 111. If it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, such as if you or a family member have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 999 immediately. If you are told to go to hospital, it is important that you go.
In addition, if you are pregnant and are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature), you must stay at home for at least seven days. Anyone you live with should not leave home for 14 days. You can use the NHS 111 COVID-19 online service to check your symptoms and get more advice. Do not go to a GP practice, pharmacy or hospital if you have these symptoms - this is to help limit the spread of the virus.