NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning (CCG), in partnership with local GP practices has launched a public information campaign to keep patients informed of the current changes to how they receive care.
As GP practices across the city face unprecedented demand, that will only increase as they enter the traditionally busy winter months, the new campaign will reassure patients that they can request a face-to-face appointment or be asked by a clinician to come into the surgery. However, practices will continue to offer remote consultations, either over the phone, online or by video.
Posters will be displayed in surgery waiting rooms and social media messages shared by the CCG and practices.
Videos have been produced by GP staff to explain what they do to meet patient needs.
Dr Terry Hudsen, a GP and Chair of NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “Since the lockdown restrictions were lifted in the summer many people have asked why their GP practice is still working differently and often when is this going back to normal.
“We can’t see that happening now, as we are still in a pandemic and now dealing with the uncertainties of a new variant, Omicron.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that waiting rooms are not like other public places, in that the people visiting them are more likely to be ill, elderly and vulnerable which means they are at higher risk of getting COVID-19. For these reasons we need to continue with restrictions, to keep everyone safe.
“GP practices have done a fantastic job in keeping their surgeries open and vaccinating patients and I’d like to thank them for their work.”
The latest NHS figures for September 2021 show that there were 286,179 GP appointments in Sheffield. The majority were face-to-face, 176,127 compared to 125,168 by phone.