Richmondshire GP practices to keep Covid-secure arrangements in place

GP practices in the district are to keep Covid-secure arrangements in place despite restrictions being eased today.

All staff and patients are being asked to continue to wear a suitable face covering and comply with social distancing and hand hygiene guidance as before.

Practices will continue to offer a blended mix of face-to-face, telephone and virtual appointments – with face-to-face appointments prioritised for those who need to be seen in person.

NHS England has announced that patients are expected to wear a face covering and observe social distancing rules when accessing all healthcare settings – including dentists and pharmacies – with hospital trusts in the region also confirming there would be no changes to their COVID-secure arrangements.

Dr Bruce Willoughby, NHS North Yorkshire clinical commissioning group governing body member, said: “GP practices have been seeing patients face-to-face in a COVID-safe way throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“By their very nature, these are people who are poorly, or have a long-term medical condition which may make them more vulnerable to COVID.

“With the rate of coronavirus infections increasingly sharply across North Yorkshire and York in recent weeks, we hope we can offer a level of reassurance to our patients that when we need to see them in person, we won’t be exposing them to unnecessary risk.

“We would also like to remind patients that they should not visit healthcare settings if they are displaying COVID symptoms – in these instances, patients should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test at a testing centre through www.nhs.uk or NHS 119.”

Patients visiting their GP surgery and other healthcare settings are being asked to:

  • Wear a face covering at all times (unless you are medically exempt) and adhere to social distancing guidelines
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before entering the building and use the hand sanitiser provided where it’s available
  • Not visit if you have COVID-19 symptoms, have been instructed to self-isolate or have received a positive COVID-19 test