GP surgeries make changes in light of coronavirus epidemic

The Central Dales Practice in Hawes. Photo: Google.

GP surgeries in Richmondshire are making changes to the way they operate in light of the coronavirus epidemic.

It comes as the number of confirmed cases in North Yorkshires rises to four.

Harewood Medical Practice in Catterick Garrison and Leyburn Medical Practice say they need to reduce the number of people that are seen in person and will be moving towards using telephone or video consultation.

The practices added in a statement: “This will be explained to you when you contact us for an appointment  (we will still see patients in person where an examination is clinically necessary).

“Unfortunately we also need to postpone non-urgent blood and other tests to reduce the number of people coming into the building.

“If you have a recent persistent cough or fever please do not attempt to come to the surgery even if you have an appointment. Instead stay at home and self isolate for seven days.

“Please see for further advice. Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.”

The Central Dales Practice, which has surgeries in Aysgarth and Hawes, has also announced temporary changes from Monday.

From Monday it will no longer operate open access clinics.

A spokesperson said: “Instead we will be asking for patients to call us, we will take your details and the best number to contact you on and a GP/ANP will call you.

“This prevents patients waiting in the waiting room which increases the risk of spread of the virus and also help minimise the risk to our patients who are immune-suppressed and at greater risk of getting the virus.”

The practice said the vast majority of conditions and illnesses could be diagnosed over the phone and dealt with, without you needing to attend the surgery.

“Where this is not possible, you will be asked to attend the surgery at a designated time, again reducing the amount of patients sitting in the waiting room at any one time (or where appropriate, will be offered a home visit later that day).

“Medications will still be issued and dispensed for collection as usual.

“Please try and order 2 weeks in advance so that you have a supply in the event our deliveries from our suppliers are reduced due to sickness. We have increased our stock levels and continue to monitor the situation.”

The practice is asking that anything non-urgent should be dealt with at a later date.

Anyone with a fever and a persistent cough should call 111 for triaging.

All surgeries in the district are urging patients with a fever and a persistent cough not to visit their surgeries but to call 111 instead.