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General Practitioners

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 44061, tabled on 6 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients can still approach their local GP surgery to (a) book and (b) attend vital appointments during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

18 May 2020

The way in which people can access general practice services during the COVID-19 emergency response has changed: practices are offering more triage and remote consultations (video and online) to see as many patients as possible while protecting staff and patients from avoidable risk of infection. NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced a guide to support all general practitioner practices in England with the rapid implementation of a ‘total triage’ model using telephone and online consultation tools. This means that every patient contacting a practice is triaged before making an appointment. The guide is available at the following link:

Where a face-to-face appointment or a home visit is clinically necessary, practices will take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of infection, including using personal protective equipment.

The National Health Service ‘Open for Business’ campaign has been created to encourage all patients requiring urgent and emergency care to seek appropriate medical advice and treatment, and reassure them that they won’t be a burden on the NHS. Further information on the campaign can be found at the following link: