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Herefordshire's Approach to the Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic


9 April 2020

General Practice Easter Opening Hours

All Herefordshire GP practices will be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday. The normal Out of Hours arrangements will apply from 6 pm on Friday to 8 am on Monday (if you need assistance during these times, call 111).

As previously advised, GPs are seeing fewer patients face-to-face due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, they are consulting by phone and video to ensure they deal with medical problems. They do not want to miss treatable conditions, so please don't hesitate to call your surgery if you are worried about symptoms.

If the surgery considers a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you may be asked to attend a surgery that is different to the one that you're used to.

These measures have been brought in to protect you and healthcare staff. The Easter weekend will be a crucial time in the course of the pandemic, so please keep to Government guidelines around social isolation and distancing. Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

 

9 April 2020

Look out for advertisements in today's local press

 Advertisement Header April 2020

Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG has commissioned an advertising campaign in this week's Hereford Times and Ledbury Reporter (as well as some Worcestershire newspapers). This is being run alongside a targeted social media campaign, particularly to raise awareness of Primary Care operating procedures during the COVID19 pandemic.

The campaign includes a banner advertisement (pictured above) plus a full information page to advise and inform the general public.

Key messages:

Key Messages From April Campaign

 

7 April 2020

Thank you NHS video (opens in You Tube).

 

31 March 2020

Social Prescribers - Keeping in contact during the Coronavirus crisis

The situation we are currently facing means that we are all having to take drastic and previously unheard of measures to keep ourselves and others safe.

This means social distancing for everyone and – for the most vulnerable ‘at risk’ groups - staying at home for the next 12 weeks.

We know that this is a great hardship and can increase feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Your GP practice is introducing measures that will help to reduce these feelings. One of these is to ask Herefordshire Social Prescribers to contact the most vulnerable and / or isolated patients from time-to-time by telephone, just to ensure they are OK.

During the period of the crisis, you may receive such a call from a Social Prescriber and we hope that you will find it helpful.

Social Prescribers will never ask for money or bank details. If you’re unsure whether a call is genuine, you must telephone your Practice to confirm.

More information on Social Prescribers

 

26 March 2020

An Appeal from Herefordshire GP Practices

Herefordshire GPs are receiving a large number of requests for ‘rescue packs’, containing antibiotics and steroids.

These are important for those with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Asthma who have regular flare ups of their condition. Access to these drugs enables people with these conditions to treat themselves immediately, often preventing the need for further medical intervention.

However, evidence shows that steroids are unhelpful and possibly harmful in Coronavirus infection. We also know that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.

In order to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of drugs for people who need them, Herefordshire GPs are asking:

  • Please do not stockpile medication or ask for additional supplies that you do not need

  • Please note that rescue packs will not be prescribed for those who have not previously required them.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Please help us to help you during the Coronavirus crisis.

24 March 2020

GPs - New Ways of operating - Effective Immediately

As you will know, cases of Coronavirus have been increasing in the UK and we expect to continue to see more cases here in Herefordshire over the coming days and weeks.

It is vitally important that you continue to follow Government advice regarding hand washing and self-isolation / social distancing. For full details, please visit the Government’s website.

In order to protect our healthcare staff, patients and the general public (in particular the most vulnerable members of society), please be aware that we are introducing changes to the way that Herefordshire General Practice operates during the crisis.

In particular, anyone needing an appointment will first be spoken to on the phone or via video. This will help to protect vulnerable patients, staff and the wider population. For the vast majority of cases, this will be sufficient to diagnose and advise on the issue. Face-to-face consultations will be rare and only offered if it is felt important in determining your management or for an intervention – eg to take a blood test.

If a face-to-face appointment is considered essential, you may be asked to attend a surgery at a different location to the one you are used to. Please rest assured that your notes will be securely accessible from the new location.

These changes will affect all GP surgeries and will take immediate effect.

The changes are necessary given the serious situation we are facing and to ensure that GP services are as resilient as possible during the crisis period.

We ask you to please play your part to enable the NHS to play theirs.