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Why are GP practices still working differently? Posted on 17 Jan 2022

If the pandemic is over, why can't GPs go back to normal?

The pandemic is not over.

GP practices are open and have been throughout, however to protect everyone, they must maintain safe infection control and minimise physical contact.

How are practices working now?

For new problems which can't wait, initial appointments will be by phone. This lets staff direct you to the right person and ensures they see those with the most need where appropriate.

Why do receptionists ask personal questions?

GP reception staff are a vital part of the healthcare team and understanding the nature of your issue helps them direct you to the the best support. They treat all information confidentially.

What happens next?

Reception staff will book you an appointment with the right person.This can be in person, by telephone or video depending on your problem. You may also be directed to other sources of support.

Why am I seeing someone else instead of my GP?

Many GP teams have nurses, advance nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, mental health workers and link workers among others. This means you speak to the best person for your problem.

What about emergencies?

Dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency.

If you need help with non life-threatening injuries or urgent care please call NHS 24 on 111.

Where else can I get help?

Visit for advice on common conditions. Your pharmacist and optician can also advise on a wide variety of conditions and provide treatments where needed.

Please be patient

Our health services are under enormous pressure but GPs are open and here if needed. Please work together with them to make sure you get the right care, in the right place, at the right time by the appropriate health professional for your needs.

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