The above photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doctors in North Wales are urging people to not delay seeking support if they are worried about their health during the latest COVID-19 lockdown.
The plea is being made after some GPs reported a drop in the number of people with health concerns contacting them for consultations during the latest lockdown, leading to fears that the opportunity for successful early treatment could be lost.
Despite the stay-at-home restrictions and GP involvement in the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout, GP appointments continue to be available, with telephone, video and face-to-face consultations offered.
Mold based GP Dr Jim McGuigan, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s East Area Assistant Medical Director, said its vital that people don’t delay seeking advice or support if they have any health concerns. He also appealed for people to be patient when attempting to book appointments.
“We have a clear message for the public that they should continue to contact their GP surgery if they have any concerns about their health,” he said.
“This is particularly important for people who have persisting worrying symptoms. You are not wasting your GP’s time by getting your symptoms checked and contacting us in a timely manner makes it much more likely that you will be offered successful early treatment.
“Telephone, video and face to face appointments are still being offered, where needed, and all GP practices have introduced appropriate infection prevention measures to keep patients and staff safe.
“If you are contacting your GP to make an appointment for any health concerns we ask you to please be patient. Reception staff are working incredibly hard, as they have done throughout the pandemic, and will answer your call and offer you a consultation as soon as one is available.”
All 98 GP surgeries in the region are playing their part in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which is set to ramp up significantly in the coming weeks, as vaccine supplies increase.
People are being invited to vaccination centres and GP practices to receive their vaccine in order of the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Dr McGuigan says people can help reduce pressures on GP surgeries by not contacting them to try and book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
“Please do not contact your GP practice directly unless you have been contacted and given a vaccination appointment. We won’t be able to offer you the vaccine any sooner, but you may cause delays for people who are trying to book general appointments.”
The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board website contains a range of helpful information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme and how to access appropriate local health services.
For further information on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in North Wales please visit: COVID-19 Vaccination Information - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (nhs.wales)
For further information on choosing the most appropriate health service for your needs, visit: Where Do I Go? - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (nhs.wales)
For information and resources to help you access support for your mental health and wellbeing, visit BCUHB’s Mental Health Hub: Mental Health Hub - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (nhs.wales)