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New figures showcase outstanding Covid-19 response of Cheshire’s GPs

Covid-19 Primary Care Activity

New figures show that Cheshire’s GP practices conducted nearly half a million face-to-face appointments during the first six months of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) response.

Between April and September 2020, GP practices across Cheshire also conducted more than 640,000 telephone and video appointments, processed more than 24,000 referrals and issued more than six million prescriptions.

Sandbach GP Dr Andrew Wilson, Clinical Chair of NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said the figures showcase the breadth of work in primary care to support local people.

“Covid-19 continues to be a challenge for us all – not least for those working in General Practice,” he said. “Despite the numerous challenges in recent months, including many examples of staff and GP sickness and self-isolation, General Practice has remained very much open for business to support local people.

“As these statistics clearly show, face-to-face appointments with a GP remain very much available for those that need them. However, to help keep everyone safe, you may now be asked to complete a phone, video or online consultation first.”

How you contact your GP practice is likely to be different at the moment. This is to limit face-to-face contact where possible to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

You may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you.

General Practice has remained open from 8am to 6.30pm every weekday throughout the Covid-19 response and restarted childhood immunisations, six-week mother and baby checks, cervical smears and the majority of routine work.

From April-September 2020, there have also been more than 20,000 new patients registered with Cheshire GP practices and more than 57,000 fit notes issued.

More than 21,000 patients have newly registered for an online GP service and more than 18,000 appointments have been booked or cancelled online.

Dr Wilson, a GP at Ashfields Primary Care Centre, added: “The rapid roll-out of digital appointments has enabled people to continue to be able to access GP advice while, at the same time, minimising the risk of the spread of the virus.”