Stop, Think and Choose the best service for your needs
GPs in Calderdale asking people to Stop, Think and Choose the best service for their needs as demand for GP appointments continue to surge as we emerge from the height of the pandemic.
Whilst social restrictions continue to be relaxed by central government, local healthcare services across Calderdale are seeing a significant increase in demand as people feel more comfortable coming forward seeking health care and advice.
GP practices have remained open throughout the pandemic, and in March there were 108,441 appointments held with local GPs, with over 60,000 of them taking place in person. A further 45,000 took place via telephone, with the rest being made up of home visits and video calls. This is 15,000 more appointments than last year and 6,000 more appointments then the same period 2019, before the pandemic hit our communities.
This is a significant achievement given the same staff in our GP practices are also been leading the delivery of the biggest vaccination programme in history with over 10,000 vaccinations delivered last week alone.
This now brings the total to 111, 899 people vaccinated. (including 47,000 second vaccinations).
Dr Steven Cleasby, Chair of NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and GP at Spring Hall Group Practice in Halifax, said:
“Before you visit A&E or request a GP appointment, we’re asking people to Stop, Think and Choose the right service for your needs. This helps us focus our attention of the most poorly people in our community whilst delivering the lifesaving vaccination programme.
“Many minor issues like a cough, sore throat and rashes can be dealt with at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet, but if you need health advice quickly for aches, pains, rashes and other minor illnesses and conditions you can speak to a pharmacist. They can recommend a treatment to help or will tell you if you need to speak to a doctor.
“If you’re not sure where to go for help visit www.111.nhs.uk online, and follow the prompts on-screen, which will point you to the right medical service for your needs. You can also call 111 from your telephone when it’s urgent, but not a health emergency.
“If you’ve already tried these other options, or they are not suitable then GP practices are still here for you but please be patient as our telephone lines are extremely busy, you may want to contact us using our website or NHS App instead.”
COVID-19 case rates across the West Yorkshire region currently higher than other parts of the country, and it’s important to remember that GP surgeries still need to follow strict social distancing and infection control measures to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable patients and staff.
Like in shops, local GP practices are introducing limits on the number of people allowed in the buildings at any one time so those who do need to visit their surgery can be kept safe and social distancing can be maintained.