GP practices in Newcastle and Gateshead to remain open over Easter
- Date:06 Apr 2020
- Category: News
GP surgeries in Newcastle and Gateshead are to remain open over the Easter bank holiday to help the NHS cope with the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.
Patients across in Newcastle and Gateshead will be able to access their GP practice on both Good Friday and Easter Monday.
The change to traditional Easter opening hours comes as GPs across the country move to help alleviate the growing pressures on out-of-hours services.
Chris Piercy, Executive Director of Nursing, Patient Safety and Quality at NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Given the unprecedented situation we are in, for anything other than Coronavirus symptoms GP practices across the area will remain available over this period for queries and appointments to ease some of the pressure on NHS 111.”
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the NHS 111 coronavirus service at www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19, call NHS 111 free, or phone your GP practice. Please do not attend your practice in person.
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and require assessment by your GP, this will be carried out by phone or video link and you will be advised on the course of action you should follow.
This could be to self-isolate, or where necessary they may refer you to a Covid-19 treatment clinic for further treatment. There are arrangements in place for patients who are not able to travel, including people who live in care homes.
All local practices have now moved to total telephone triage, online consultations and in some cases video consultations, with patients asked not to go into their GP surgery for any reason before speaking to their practice and a need for a face-to-face appointment being agreed.
Health advice is also available to patients by completing an online (eConsult) form on their practice website.
“Our aim during this time is to keep our patients and our staff safe,” added Chris Piercy. “All patients will go through the ‘triage’ process which enables practices to prioritise appointments for those most in need.
“Repeat prescriptions can be requested online through practice websites or by using the NHS app, and anyone who is not online can still contact their surgery who will advise them how they can order their medicines.
“But it remains vital, especially over the Easter period when we are predicting a potential rise in Coronavirus cases, that everyone continues to help stop the spread of this virus by following Government advice and staying at home – this will help to save lives and protect our NHS.”
The urgent treatment centres at Westgate Road and Molineux Centre (Byker) in Newcastle are now closed. Thornfield Medical Group, which is also based at the Molineux Centre, is still operating and can be contacted by registered patients on 0191 275 5740.
For patients needing to attend an urgent treatment centre for non-Covid-19-related health needs, Ponteland Road Urgent Treatment Centre remains open from 8am to 10pm every day, at 169 Ponteland Road, NE5 3AE.