A Rotherhithe GP surgery is among those which has moved to telephone appointments this week in a bid to prevent transmission of coronavirus.
A message sent to all patients at the Albion Street Group practice has asked that those with appointments not attend the surgery.
Other Southwark primary care practices are also understood to have taken the move as a common-sense approach to prevent accidental infections from those attending appointments, including nearby Park Medical on Hawkstone Road.
However, those with nurse appointments could still attend the practice unless feeling unwell.
“As the Coronavirus situation changes very rapidly we will try to keep you updated,” Albion Street surgery told patients.
“We are using telephone consultations instead of face to face appointments as much as possible on the advice of NHS England.
“We are working extremely hard to try to keep everyone safe.”
No confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported among the practice’s staff or patients.
Guidance passed onto doctors’ surgeries by NHS England has advised that patients be triaged online or over the phone where possible.
“Anyone who is worried they have coronavirus should check with NHS 111 online, and for any other health concerns, it remains the case that people can see a GP in their local practice,” said an NHS spokesperson.
“As a precaution to protect patients, staff and the public, appointments booked online may be followed up with a call by the surgery, to make sure they see the right person in the right place for their illness.”
Those who think they may have been infected with the virus are still advised not to attend GP surgeries following a string of cases where buildings needed to be deep-cleaned following coronavirus contact.
An online symptom checker and advice finder can be found from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
At the time of writing, Southwark has nine confirmed cases of the virus.