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Accessing Health Care


Accessing Health Care – November 2020

This letter has been circulated by the North West Ambulance Service. It stresses that if you need healthcare during this period of Lockdown 2 you should still seek it, and tells you how to contact the various services.

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you are keeping well and safe,

Here at NWAS, we aim to share important updates and news with you that we think may be useful and of interest to you.

On Thursday 5 November, we entered a second national 'lockdown' with tighter national restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. During this 4 week period of a second 'lockdown', we have been asked by the government to stay at home, avoid meeting people outside of our household or bubble and to avoid unnecessary travel. However, there are important exceptions to these rules which include :

-Collecting medication
-Attending medical appointments
-Medical emergencies

We would like to reassure you that during this second period of lockdown, you can still access NHS Primary Care services as you have done throughout the pandemic. These NHS and Primary care services (GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies and optometry providers) will remain open to treat patients, and to provide safe and necessary care which will be prioritised on the basis of clinical need. If you need any kind of medical care, it is vital that you come forward and seek help.

Please note that during this time, these services may be busier than usual due to the impact of rising Covid-19 infections. Staff are working hard to provide services and care for patients, so your respect and patience is very much appreciated.

Although we hope you will not need to use these services, we would like to make sure that you have all the information you need.We have gathered some advice below which we hope will be helpful :

General practice
For your safety, you will need to contact your practice by phone or online to begin with. You will be assessed and offered a phone or video appointment, or a face to face appointment if you need one. The majority of common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your doctor by telephone or video consultation. They are experienced and skilled in doing this. Using technology like this will help to protect you, your family and loved ones – and GP practice staff from the potential risk of the virus.

Dental care
Call your dental practice in the first instance rather than going there in person unless you have a booked appointment. They can assess you over the phone, offer advice, medication or a face to face appointment if this is needed. Dental practices are prioritising patients with urgent dental needs whilst ensuring the safety of patients and staff. For some specific dental treatments, your dentist may need to be refer you to an urgent dental centre. If you do not have a regular dentist, you can find one here.

Things may be a little different but your local pharmacy is still here for you. Your local pharmacy can provide help and advice over the phone – not just face to face. Find your nearest pharmacy here.

Urgent and essential eye care services are available and you should still attend eye care appointments if they're going ahead and if you're well. If you need urgent eye care and you don't have a regular optician, contact NHS 111.

We hope that this will be helpful to you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please feel free to share this email with your colleagues, friends and family.

Thank you

Kind Regards

Rachel Bates
Patient Engagement Assistant| Patient Engagement Team
Strategy and Planning Directorate
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Mobile : 07812 305 630
*Please note my normal working days are Monday to Thursday

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