Anyone going to their GP practice for an appointment will now need to wear a face covering.
Following national guidance on wearing face coverings in a number of public spaces, and in hospitals, the local NHS is asking people to wear face coverings if they need to go to their GP practice for an appointment. The use of face coverings will help protect you, other patients in the waiting area, and staff.
Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.
GP practices have already changed the way they are doing things to make it safer for patients to come into the surgery. Staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks and wherever possible social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Most appointments are still happening over the phone or using video consultation, but patients are being seen face to face for urgent appointments, and routine screenings for things like childhood vaccinations or cervical smear tests.
People are still asked to call ahead and not go to their GP practice unless advised.
Dr James Thomas, GP and clinical chair, NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Face coverings can help stop the spread of coronavirus by preventing you from inadvertently passing on the disease to others if you have it but are not showing symptoms. By wearing a face covering, you’ll be helping us to make sure our GP practices remain safe places for people to receive care.
“It’s important to remember that, even if you do wear a face covering, it’s still so important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds on a regular basis, especially if you have returned home from a public place.
“If you do have coronavirus symptoms – such as a high temperature or continuous cough, you should stay indoors and isolate at home, do not come into a GP practice.
“Where people are unable to provide their own face coverings, due to special circumstances, your GP practice will provide you a face mask. However, I would urge you to use your own wherever possible, to save masks for staff who need them.”
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.
How to wear a face covering with Dr Amir Khan, local GP and star of GPs Behind Closed Doors