Accessing your NHS services when lockdown is eased

Over the last few months, we have all worked together to fight COVID-19 (coronavirus) and now, we are starting to see a sense of normal life again as lockdown is eased.

Throughout the pandemic, your NHS urgent care services have all remained open, continuing to provide high quality and safe care for patients across Knowsley.

Although a lot of us may enjoy a visit to a beer garden or restaurant over the weekend, or get our hair cut for the first time since lockdown began, it is important to remember that the virus is still a threat to our public health.

The reopening of services such as these requires them to be COVID safe and meet the latest guidelines and the same is true for GP practices across the borough who will continue operating their ‘total triage’ service. This means that, rather than walking into your practice, you must now ring the surgery or fill out an online form, found on your practice website. This will ensure our practices remain ‘COVID safe’.

Most patients will have their needs met by a telephone or video consultation. On occasion, it may be necessary to have a face-to-face appointment. If this is required then the practice will arrange this for you and explain the processes in place to ensure all patients are kept safe during the pandemic.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you might be asked to attend at another NHS site. Your practice will arrange your appointment at a time and place that is best for you. Other practices have elected to ‘zone’ their practice buildings to ensure safe separation.

If you are asked to attend a practice or hospital, you must do so. Remember, when attending any NHS service in person, social distancing rules must be kept and face coverings must be worn. This is to protect you and members of staff.

Walk-in centres across Knowsley have also changed how they see patients. Visit the North West Boroughs Healthcare website for more information.

It remains the case that patients whose only medical problem is related to COVID-19 symptoms, such as a new continuous cough, high temperature or a loss of taste and smell, should arrange to get tested by visiting the NHS website, and follow the Government Advice.

You should only call NHS 111 if your symptoms become worse or you are concerned. In a life threatening emergency, always call 999.