GP surgeries to open over Easter break
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Doctors’ surgeries across the area will be staying open during the Easter break because of the coronavirus crisis.
However, patients are being urged not to turn up at their practice in person - and reminded always to call first, to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.
Surgeries across Suffolk and north Essex will be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday - in a change from the usual four-day holiday weekend.
Some will open on all four days, but patients are being advised to check with their own practice what the arrangements are.
Hadleigh Boxford Group Practice has announced that Hadleigh Health Centre will be open for all four days over the Easter weekend.
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It posted on Facebook: “Our understanding is that nationally GP surgeries will be asked to open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, but with many other Suffolk GP practices we will be electing to open on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday as well.” The practice will only be operating its Hadleigh site.
It added: “As health care professionals and our supporting teams continue to give 100% to deliver healthcare to our community, we would ask that each of you continue to do everything you can to reduce the spread of the virus. Thank you for all your support.”
MORE - Suffolk nurses ‘giving their all’ but need to feel protectedA spokesman for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk, NHS West Suffolk and NHS North East Essex clinical commissioning groups said: “GP practices will remain open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, in line with practices across the country, in order to best manage demand at this very busy time.
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“Additionally, some practices will be open on Saturday April 11 and Sunday April 12.”
The spokesman added: “It is important, though, that people do not go to their GP practice unless they have been specifically advised to do so by a member of the practice staff.
“Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should stay at home and seek advice from NHS 111 Online. Anyone who needs to self-isolate and requires an isolation note for their employer can access one at NHS 111 Online; you do not need to ask your GP for this.
“For non-coronavirus health concerns, we encourage people to seriously consider if they really need a GP appointment. If you think you do, call your surgery. You’ll be asked to give as much information as possible to determine whether an appointment is needed. For many health concerns a telephone appointment with a GP or other health professional will be the most appropriate way forward.
“All our primary care staff are working very hard, for which we thank them. We ask for everyone’s patience and support.”