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Bucks' NHS services 'still open' despite coronavirus

Bosses are worried some are avoiding the GP or A&E because of COVID-19.

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:41am 17th April 2020. 3-minute read.

Bucks' NHS services 'still open' despite coronavirus

We're being urged not to avoid A&E or the GP surgery in an emergency or urgent health situation in Bucks, despite COVID-19.

There are worries patients are going untreated because they think they should stay away from services.

Both GP and hospital A&E services are still open for non-coronavirus patients - this is especially important to remember if you have a baby or child who becomes ill or is injured.

During the current situation, with the NHS under pressure and people asked to stay at home, it can be confusing to know the right thing to do if you or your child becomes unwell. 

What should you do?

Woman on phone
Phone services are being used more at the moment

GP practices are currently working differently to stop the spread of the virus - you cannot book walk-in appointments and anyone with coronavirus symptoms is being asked to use the NHS111 service to get advice.

However, your surgery can discuss any concerns you may have about yourself or your child over the phone. In some cases they may be able to consult by video and, if clinically appropriate, you can still attend the surgery for an arranged appointment.

Simply call the surgery by phone, or, for people 16 years and older, use the AskNHS app.

If your child has more alarming symptoms - severe, constant tummy pain, or rashes that don't fade when pressed with a glass tumbler, for instance, then attend A&E or call 999 immediately.  

Every effort is being made to ensure patients using the hospital are shielded from coronavirus infection.

GP - Doctor - Health
In-person appointments are still available when necessary

Dr Tina Kenny, Medical Director at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

"This is a difficult time for everyone and it is vital we all stay safe and well. We don't want anyone who needs our care to stay away or avoid A&E.

"As ever, we ask that you use our services responsibly, but if you are worried you or your child has a serious illness or injury, we are here for you."

Dr Juliet Sutton, Clinical Director for Children's Services at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

"Many people may be trying to ease pressure on the NHS by not using our services. While we really appreciate your consideration, we want to assure you that your GP surgery is still very much here for you.  

"Your concerns will be taken seriously and listened to. Other illnesses have not stopped to make way for Coronavirus - if you are concerned that your child is poorly or has symptoms related to an ongoing condition like asthma or diabetes please just call us.

"If you are worried then we are here for you.  Please don't be afraid to use our services."

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