Croydon Council is backing a new NHS campaign which urges residents to seek help for any urgent care and treatment they need.
Local GPs are appealing to people to get in touch if they have significant health concerns after recent research by NHS England found that four in ten people are too concerned about being a burden on the NHS to seek help from their GP.
Croydon residents should contact their GP as they normally would or call NHS 111 if they have urgent care needs and call 999 in an emergency. People should also go to hospital and attend appointments if they are told they should.
The NHS in Croydon and across South West London have made changes to ensure patients who don’t have Covid-19 can access services safely, this includes increasing capacity combined with effective social distancing by the public to slow the spread of the virus. This has meant that the NHS has so far successfully been able to meet everyone’s need, with capacity to spare.
All community pharmacies in Croydon have remained open with varied opening times to ensure that everyone’s medicines and healthcare needs are met. It is important to order your repeat prescription at least a week before your medicines are due to run out and only for the medicines that you need.
Residents are also being reminded that other vital services should be used as they normally would – such as maternity appointments and mental health support.
You can continue to make appointments with your GP practice for routine immunisations. During a pandemic, it is more important than ever to keep up with infant, child, adult and pregnancy immunisations to protect your health and prevent outbreaks of other diseases.
However, routine face-to-face dental services have been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS dentists are available during their normal working day for telephone advice and prescriptions (of painkillers and antibiotics). Contact your dentist first for urgent dental problems. If you do not have a dentist and think you need urgent dental care, get in touch with your local practice and they make ask you to contact NHS111 if the condition is severe.
A&E attendances have dropped by around half in less than two months. Figures from Public Health England for the week ending April 19, show around 7,500 people a day now turning to A&E departments. The figure was around 14,000 at the start of March.
“We want to let residents know that the NHS is still open and treating anyone needing urgent, emergency and other essential care. It is important that people continue to look after their overall health and wellbeing by contacting their GP and using available health services. This is especially important for routine immunisations for people of all ages, and if you have a significant health concern, need immediate advice for yourself of a child or you need help with managing a long-term condition.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, the lead GP for Croydon, said: “Please don’t wait to seek help from your GP. We know that some people feel they will be putting extra strain on the NHS at this time if they contact their local surgery for their own or a family member’s health needs. However, ignoring problems can have serious consequences – now or in the future. We are continuing to work hard to respond to the covid-19 outbreak, but people in Croydon can still safely access NHS services. We are also supporting patients by phone or video consultation to reduce their need to travel.”