Changes to GP practices in Scarborough as staff face 'unprecedented demand' during coronavirus outbreak

Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which represents 12 GP practices in and around Scarborough, has issued a statement to patients.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 12:30 pm

The CCG says as a result of the current Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, primary care is facing 'unprecedented demand' on its services.

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Due to the outbreak the way GP surgeries operate is changing to allow them to continue to provide services where they are most needed.

Signs in GP surgeries in Scarborough. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

Practices are now working to minimise face-to-face contact with patients to reduce transmission of the virus, protect vulnerable staff and patients and enable clinicians to continue to care for those patients who need it most.

The statement said: "The vast majority of consultations will now be done via phone, e-consultations or video consultation. Non-urgent work is being stopped or postponed until there is capacity to do so.

"Practices are working together as networks to manage this unprecedented demand. Patients may find that they are assessed by a neighbouring practice if needed.

"Clinicians will need to make case-by-case decisions based on their knowledge, experience and skills to determine whether it is safe to manage each patient without physically seeing them or whether, in some circumstances, they need to see a patient in person.

"It is essential that each clinician is allowed to make the decision in the best interests of the patient, their family and also the staff looking after them under extremely difficult circumstances."

All patients are now being asked to:

- Follow the latest government advice on self-isolation and social distancing. You do not need to contact your GP practice for permission to do this.

- Use NHS 111 if the first instance if you have Covid-19 symptoms and would like medical advice. Use NHS111 online if you have access to the internet and phone 111 if you do not.

- Not come to any GP practice unless you have been specifically advised to do so after a phone/video consultation with a clinician at your practice.

- Order medication as normal. Do not stockpile medication or request medication earlier than usual.

- Not request a sick note for any illness lasting 7 days or less or for any periods of self-isolation/social distancing.

The CCG represents Brook Square Surgery, Castle Health Centre, Central Healthcare (Belgrave, Falsgrave, Peasholm and Prospect Road surgeries, Eastfield Medical Centre, Filey Surgery, Hackness Road Surgery, Hunmanby Surgery, Scarborough Medical Group (Danes Dyke, South Cliff and Cloughton surgeries), Sherburn and Rillington Practice, and West Ayton and Snainton Practice.

It added: "We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding at this time and as our response continues to evolve.

"We are fortunate to have an extremely dedicated and hard-working NHS workforce across North Yorkshire who are doing everything they can to help in this extremely challenging situation."