GPs worried that drop in calls means patients are putting off getting treatment over COVID-19 fears

Katherine Johnston (23 April, 2020)

King's College Hospital has also issued a reminder that its A&E department is still open for those who need emergency care

25276Stock image of a doctor

Southwark GPs say they are concerned patients are putting off contacting their doctor due to Coronavirus fears.

The South East London Clinical Commissioning Group says fewer patients have been in touch with their GP or nurse to manage existing or new physical or mental health issues since the pandemic hit London.

The NHS is worried patients are at risk of worsening conditions or not seeking urgent medical attention quick enough. 

The CCG says the message is not to avoid contacting your GP if you need to. 

New mums and pregnant women should also be in touch with their practice to arrange routine immunisations and if they have any concerns about their or their child’s health. 

Dr Kuchemann

“During this COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all heard the message to stay at home as much as possible and it’s great that people are doing this,” said Dr Nancy Kuchemann, a Southwark GP and the clinical lead for South East London Clinical Commissioning Group.

“GPs are still here for you though and it is important that you contact your surgery for advice or to make an appointment when you need to.

“So, if you need medical advice about something other than coronavirus don’t be afraid to contact your surgery online or by telephone and they will advise you on whether you need to see a doctor or nurse.”

Although the Covid-19 pandemic means that patients are asked to contact their surgery online or by phone rather than go in person, doctors are still able to see patients via video conferencing or telephone consultation and, if necessary, can see and examine patients in person.

Southwark also has two separate hubs for suspected COVID-19 patients to be seen in separately from any patients.

King’s College Hospital has also issued a reminder that its A&E department is still open for those who need emergency care.

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