Why are GP Practices still Working Differently?

Q: If the pandemic is over why can’t I get a GP appointment like I used to?

A: The pandemic is not over. GP surgeries have been working hard all through the pandemic to continue delivering services to people. In order to protect people, and following government guidance, we must maintain safe infection control and minimise unnecessary physical contact.

Q: How are practices working now?

A: All appointments are being triaged. This means you will be assessed to decide who needs:

  • To be seen in person
  • A phone consultation
  • A video consultation
  • Which healthcare professional will be able to provide you with the best care

Q: Why do receptionists ask personal questions?

A: GP reception staff are a vital part of the health care team and ask questions to direct you to the best support. They are skilled in assisting with triage and treat all information confidentially.

Q: I wanted to see my GP, so why am I seeing someone else?

A: Many GP surgeries now include a range of professionals (e.g. Advanced Nurse Practitioners) who can diagnose and treat health conditions. This ensures that you see the right person at the right time more quickly.

Q: Why aren’t face-to-face appointments given as a default?

A: You will be offered the most appropriate appointment to meet your needs safely and quickly, Sometimes this may mean you are given advice or a referral over the phone or online, or you may be offered a face-to-face appointment.

Q: What about emergencies?

A: Always dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency. If you need help with minor injuries at any time or urgent care when your GP surgery or community pharmacy is closed visit 111.nhs.uk  or dial 111 if you do not have internet access.

Q: Where else can I get help?

A: Visit www.nhs.uk for advice on common symptoms or speak to your community pharmacist first for advice on minor illnesses. Find your nearest nhs.uk/service/find-a-pharmacy

Please be patient

Our health services are under enormous pressure, but we are open and here to help. You can help yourself by making sure you get the right care, in the right place, at the right time appropriate for your needs.

Please continue to be kind to our staff, socially distance where possible and wear a mask in healthcare settings.