Do not let pandemic stop you seeking medical help - NHS services urge people to get treatment if they need it
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“Please do not put off coming to see us” is the message from across NHS services in Norfolk and Waveney following a drop in patients seeking treatment.
Health figures have raised concerns people may be putting off seeking help due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, A&E doctor Shaun Price said patient numbers have halved since the start of the pandemic, raising concerns some patients were not getting the treatment they need.
In Norwich, the walk-in centre off Rouen Road has seen a fall off in patients attending with minor injuries and illnesses due to the pandemic.
Donna Laws-Chapman, the centre’s chief operating officer, said: “We are keen to remind people that the walk-in centre, like other NHS services, is open and here for you if you need us.
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“We have all the appropriate safety and social distancing measures in place to protect patients and staff. Please do not put off coming to see us if you need medical assistance.”
The walk-in centre is open between 7am and 9pm every day. The nurse-led centre can help with a range of minor illness and injuries, including minor cuts and wounds, strains and sprains, skin complaints. Patients will be triaged at the front door and either signposted to the necessary service or treated.
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The NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (NWCCG) also stressed the importance people attend appointments.
During the pandemic GP practices have moved to speaking with patients on the telephone first. Surgeries are open but people should only go once checking or offered a face-to-face appointment.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, chair of the NWCCG, said: “We really appreciate and want to thank the public for their ongoing support and for sticking with the stay at home advice and social distancing.
“We know it is tough, but now is not the time to be complacent and we must continue to follow the guidelines to help limit the spread of infection.
“However, It’s really important that people attend appointments when they’re arranged and don’t “put off” contacting their usual doctor or nurse for any health concerns or ongoing health issues. Some conditions may get worse when they could have been treated more easily at an earlier stage.
In addition to using the walk in or GP services, health care advice is available from pharmacies or by using the 111 service.
Dr Dhesi added: “If you are concerned about seeking medical help because of Covid-19, I would urge you not to let this stop you seeking help from the NHS as you normally would.”