NHS Tayside Associate Medical Director advises the public on how to access GP services on Monday, 13 April which is a public holiday.
Dr Jane Bruce, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care with NHS Tayside said, “In these unprecedented and challenging times, the Scottish Government has asked GP practices across Scotland to remain open on the April public holidays – if it is safe to do so.
“Monday 13 April is a public holiday and the majority GP surgeries across Tayside, where they are able, will be open between 8am and 6pm to support patient care for patients with non-COVID related issues.
“Patients are reminded that they should call their own surgery in the first instance for a telephone discussion regarding their non-COVID health concerns, in order to ensure safe practice at this time.
“It is important that all patients with COVID symptoms do not attend their local surgery, they should at all times call 111.
“From 6pm until 8am, for COVID and non-COVID issues patients should call 111 as you would do in the normal out of hours period.
Dr Bruce also highlighted the changes that have been introduced by GP Practices during the COVID pandemic which apply to adults and children alike but wanted to assure parents and carers that GP surgeries are still open to see children.
Dr Bruce said, “Some parents are wondering if surgeries are still open to see children? Parents and carers should be aware of the changes GP practices have been made for all patients, including children who need to see a GP.
“GP Practices are still open as normal between the hours of 8am and 6pm but the way to access advice and care has changed in light of the COVID pandemic.
“Instead of being able to walk into surgeries and request appointments or prescriptions, GP Practices are now asking patients to phone first for a telephone discussion prior to appointments being made. This includes parents and carers who have concerns about a child.
“A discussion with practice staff will help differentiate between a COVID and non-COVID problem, and staff will be able to direct a child to the most appropriate places to be seen.
“Parents should be assured that all children will be seen as necessary in the most appropriate locations.
“In the out of hours period, that means from 6pm until 8am weekdays and 6pm Friday until 8am Monday, if a parent or carer has concerns about a child’s health they should call 111 in the usual way and appropriate advice will be given.
“Parents and carers are reminded that if they are concerned about their child’s health at any point, they should react as they would have done before this COVID pandemic. If simple measures are not effective, or you have significant concerns please seek advice and help either from your GP surgery in hours or by calling 111 if it’s out of hours.”
For the latest health information please visit http://nhsinform.scot/coronavirus