We are aware of the news on Friday which has resulted in some confusion for patients. NHS England have advised that GP practices need to ensure they are offering face-to-face appointments. They have stated that GP practices can continue to use online and telephone consultations where patients benefit from these.
We would like to reassure our patients that we’ve never been closed or refused to see a patient face to face if clinically needed. We have adapted so our patients could access the best care possible over the past difficult year.
Telephone triage and telephone consultations aim to improve access to care. As the number of patient contacts in general practice steadily rises and the nature of healthcare becomes increasingly complex, it is perhaps not surprising that many practices view triage as a way of safely managing the increasing demand while also meeting patients’ understandable desires for a timely response to their requests for urgent healthcare. The purpose of triage is to ensure that the patient is referred to the most suitable clinician for the appropriate level of care within an acceptable period of time.
If patients need to clinically be seen face to face then they will be seen. We will continue to triage and we will continue to treat each and every individual patient as they need treating at that particular time.
We will continue to adapt our services again to meet the need of our patients as the country comes out of lockdown and we get used to a new normal.