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NHS services ‘open’ for patients who need medical assistance

The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is reminding people that healthcare services are still here for you if you require medical assistance.

Chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr Anoop Dhesi is stressing the importance of seeking medical care if you or your family need it.

Whilst GP practices have moved to speaking with patients on the telephone first, surgeries are very much open for business and wanting to speak to any patients who have medical concerns.

Dr Dhesi said: “We really appreciate and want to thank the public for their ongoing support and for sticking with the stay at home advice and social distancing. We know it is tough, but now is not the time to be complacent and we must continue to follow the guidelines to help limit the spread of infection.

“However, It’s really important that people attend appointments when they’re arranged and don’t "put off" contacting their usual doctor or nurse for any health concerns or ongoing health issues. Some conditions may get worse when they could have been treated more easily at an earlier stage.  

“If you are concerned about seeking medical help because of Covid-19, I would urge you not to let this stop you seeking help from the NHS as you normally would.”

Patients who want advice from their GP practice or an appointment are asked to contact their surgery in the same way - enquire online or telephone. Do not attend your GP practice without checking. If your GP decides you need to be seen in person, you will be offered a face-to-face appointment.

The majority of patients will be given advice either online, over the phone or in a video consultation. But if you are advised by your doctor or nurse to come in for a face to face appointment, you will be told exactly what to do and where to attend. The instructions will depend on your medical need and what local arrangements have been put in place. Some people may be asked to go for their appointment at a surgery they don’t normally attend.

Some GP practices are using “zoning” where patients with coronavirus symptoms can be seen well away from patients who do not have coronavirus symptoms. These new arrangements will separate patients so that important routine appointments can go ahead safely, for example childhood immunisations or antenatal clinics.

A wide range of healthcare advice on minor illnesses, infections, headaches, emergency contraception and coughs and colds, is also available from pharmacies.

If it is urgent but not an emergency, you can call NHS 111 or access NHS 111 online. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the freephone number is manned by trained advisors who can offer advice or arrange for you to see a doctor or nurse if appropriate.

The NHS Walk-In Centre at Rouen House on Rouen Road, Norwich, is open between 7am and 9pm every day. The Nurse-led centre can help with a range of minor illness and injuries, including minor cuts and wounds, strains and sprains, skin complaints etc. You will be triaged at the front door and signposted elsewhere or treated accordingly.

The Minor Injuries Unit based at Mill Road in Cromer is also open seven days a week, from 8am to 7.45pm. Patients can receive treatment for minor injuries such as minor wounds, burns or simple fractures. The unit are able to advise over the phone if your injury is suitable for the MIU, please can 01603 646230.

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