Health leaders across mid and south Essex are reminding patients that GP services, pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are all still available to patients.
Diane Sarkar, Chief Nursing Officer, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Whilst it is really important to follow the government guidance to stay home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when you are feeling unwell.
“We need to ensure people are still accessing help, particularly with serious illnesses as these conditions have not gone away just because of coronavirus. NHS 111 online and by phone, hospitals and GPs are still providing the same level of care they have always done.
“It can be very dangerous to put off getting seen as you can put yourself at risk of late diagnosis of things such as cancer, heart attacks and stroke.
“We have noticed that children in particular seem to be presenting less, and we are urging parents to make sure they are using the right service for their child if they are displaying worrying symptoms.”
Access to your local GP may initially be by telephone as GP practices are still advising patients to only attend in person if they are specifically asked to. Surgeries across mid and south Essex will be offering video and phone consultations for those who are not asked to attend in person.
Patients should still dial 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency.
For further advice on how to best use the NHS visit nhs.uk.
Jennifer Marshall, Head of Nursing for Medicine from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has supported this campaign with a short video which is being shared on social media – watch below.