Local GPs issue advice about getting help from your GP practice as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The advice comes as GPs continue to be concerned that people are not contacting them for serious health concerns such as suspected cancers or heart problems. Although there is still a lot of work going on to deal with coronavirus, local GPs are #StillHereToHelp people with other urgent health conditions, before they get worse.
Many appointments are happening over the phone or using video consultation, but if needed people can be seen safely, for a face to face appointment. That includes examinations for symptoms of cancer, such as lumps, changes in moles, concerns about blood in urine or unexplained weight loss.
Doctors are also concerned that children are not being brought in for routine vaccinations, which protect against serious or sometimes potentially deadly illnesses.
If you have been invited for an appointment at your GP practice, it is safe to attend, and your GP practice will let you know what to do.
Urgent referrals for concerns such as suspected cancers are continuing throughout the pandemic. However, GPs are reminding people that if they are unsure whether their concern is urgent or not, go online to nhs.uk for advice, or get in touch with their GP practice who will be able to advise further. People should still contact their GP practice by phone initially – do not visit in person.
Dr Dave Tatham, GP and strategic clinical director, NHS Bradford District and Craven clinical commissioning group (CCG) said: “We have heard from people that they are unsure about what they can get in touch with their GP practice about at the moment, and that they are nervous about coming in to see us if they need to.
“I would like to reassure people that GP practices are still here to help, and that if you need to come to see somebody in person, it is safe to do so. The person that you’ll see for an appointment will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), for your safety and theirs, you are able to keep at least two metres apart and socially distance in areas such as waiting rooms, and practices are following strict cleaning routines.
“Thank you to people who had their non-urgent referrals, assessments or treatments temporarily paused to help the NHS respond to coronavirus. You’ve been extremely patient and understanding during this time.
“People with less worrying symptoms, such as stomach bugs, hay fever and conjunctivitis, can still use their pharmacy for advice. Go to the 111 online website (opens in a new window) or call 111 if it’s more urgent and you are unsure of what to do, or visit nhs.uk for online advice.”
If you need help during the coronavirus pandemic, for example with delivering shopping, a friendly chat, a food parcel (for eligible people) or information on local services, and you don’t have family, friends or a neighbour who can support you, you are not alone – there are special local services that can help. You can call 01274 431000 if you live in the Bradford district or call 01609 780780 if you live in Craven to access these services.
If you are in mental health crisis, the friendly team at First Response are available around the clock and you can reach them by calling 01274 221181.
Local health, care, voluntary and local authority services are still here to help during the coronavirus pandemic. Services across Bradford district and Craven are working together to remind local people to still get in touch if they need help before their situation worsens as part of the #StillHereToHelp campaign.