GP surgeries have been forced overnight to switch from face to face consultations to conducting patient examinations via video links.
Dr Agnelo Fernandes a GP Parchmore Medical Centre for 30 years, is embracing the change and says the majority of patients have been accepting of the new regime after practices across the country closed their doors to protect patients and staff from the risk of coronavirus contamination.
However, the demands on general practice haven’t just stopped because of Covid-19 and patients with existing conditions and poor health still need treating.
Local residents Mohammed Mir and Sue Ahmed, who have both undergone traumatic major surgery recently give their accounts (below) on how Co-Vid19 is impacting on their ongoing treatment and recovery.
Dr Fernandes said: “The world hasn’t just stopped because of Co-Vid19. We all need to remember that the NHS was busy before coronavirus and all the people needing treatment for other conditions still need to be managed.”
lnstead anyone who needs to speak to a doctor can still do so over the telephone or via video conferencing. Patients can still have a face to face consultation with a GP but only through an arranged appointment.
Paper prescriptions have also become redundant with requests for medication transmitted electronically to pharmacies.
The surgery has also set up an isolation room if someone is suspected of having co-vid19 for triage and assessment.
Dr Fernandes said:“Everyone I have spoken to has been really quite grateful. Not everyone wants a video consultation but for instance I do a lot of dermatology work and I was able to diagnose a nasty skin condition. It is not suitable for everyone and it has been forced on us but everyone is accepting it.”
He also said that doctors were also not able to meet face to face and were using Zoom from the confines of their examination rooms to consult over patient cases with other GPs in the same practice.