With lockdown measures in place, knowing what to do when you are feeling unwell or have a planned appointment can be confusing. Currently, Britons are being asked to stay home, and only leave for essential reasons – including grocery shopping, to care for others, for one portion of exercise or to attend key jobs.
Are GP surgeries open?
GP surgeries are currently seeing patients online and over the phone – so if you need to see a doctor ring your local surgery to find out how they can best help you.
According to the NHS website, if you’re advised to go to hospital, it’s important to go.
You should also keep going to any appointments you usually have unless you are told not to.
If you are feeling unwell, the NHS advises using the NHS website for information on symptoms, medicines, healthy lifestyle choices and medical conditions.
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For each of the aforementioned topics, the NHS website has information and advice on:
- medical conditions and symptoms
- common medicines
- healthy lifestyle
If you need more information or to speak to a doctor you can also check your GP surgery’s website.
Lots of GP surgeries have online services where you can get advice and support from your GP surgery team. Find your GP surgery to get its website details.
If you need to contact a GP, current advice is not to go into the surgery in person.
- visit the GP surgery’s website, or use an online service to contact your GP – find your GP surgery to get its website details
- call your GP surgery
Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.
They can help in a number of ways, e.g. a phone or video call with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional may be booked for you.
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You’ll only be asked to visit the surgery if absolutely necessary.
Your GP surgery may be very busy at the moment and you may have to wait longer than usual to speak to someone if it’s not urgent.
Online services and apps
If you’re registered with a GP surgery, you can use online services and apps that may allow you to:
- order repeat prescriptions
- see parts of your health record, including test results
- book, check or cancel appointments
You may not be able to book appointments at the moment. Please check your GP surgery’s website for how to contact staff (find your GP surgery to get its website details).
If you can book an appointment, it is likely to be a phone or video appointment.
If you have a repeat prescription that you usually request at your GP surgery or pharmacy, you can do this online.
You can order repeat prescriptions using:
- online services and apps linked to your GP surgery
- pharmacies that have an online repeat prescription service – you can search for these online
Do not go to your GP surgery or pharmacy to order prescriptions.
Call them if you cannot order your prescription online.
When you order your prescription, order it at the same time and in the same amount you usually would. Do not order more than you need as this may mean someone else will be unable to get their medicine.
You can read more about how to order repeat prescriptions online.
Urgent dental treatment
All routine dental treatment has been stopped at the moment. If you think you need urgent dental treatment, the NHS says you should not go to a dentist.
- call your dentist
- use the NHS 111 online service if you cannot contact your dentist or you do not have one
They can give you advice, help you contact an urgent dental service or arrange treatment if needed.
Do not contact a GP as they cannot provide dental treatment.
Urgent medical help
If you need urgent medical help, use the regular NHS 111 online service.
The 111 online service asks questions about your symptoms to help you get the help you need.
Call 111 if you need urgent help for a child under 5 or cannot get help online.
Emergency medical help
For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance. Try to avoid going straight to A&E instead of calling an ambulance.
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