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GP and pharmacy Easter opening

GPs across Berkshire West will be open this Good Friday and Easter Monday as the NHS steps up its work around the coronavirus outbreak.

The majority of the 47 practices in the area will be operating as usual giving patients telephone access to medical care and advice. They will also be co-ordinating care with neighbouring surgeries to make sure people in their areas are looked after.

Medical forecasters have predicted coronavirus cases could peak soon which is why health officials are putting these special measures in place to manage the rise in demand.

People who have suspected coronavirus symptoms of a constant cough and/or a high temperature of 37.8 are still being advised to self isolate at home for seven days and, if necessary, seek information from NHS 111 online. Others in the household should self isolate for 14 days.

Patients who have a medical problem that is not related to coronavirus can ring their surgery as normal. Please do not attend the surgery in person. All GP appointments will initially be on the telephone with the GP doing all they can to help over the phone. If they feel they need a face to face examination then an appointment can be arranged.

On Easter Saturday and Sunday the surgeries normal weekend arrangements will be in place. People can ring NHS 111 with urgent medical problems and Westcall will also be providing the Out of Hours GP service.

The majority of pharmacists across Berkshire West will be opening 2-5pm on Good Friday and Easter Monday to support the surgeries and patients. Others will be opening their normal hours.

Dr Abid Irfan, Chair of the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“We are really grateful to GPs, nurses and practice staff for giving up their Bank Holiday as we support our patients, and the wider NHS system, tackle the coronavirus.

“These are anxious times for everyone and we hope they get some reassurance knowing our medical teams are going to be available over the holiday weekend to meet the rising demand for care.

“I’m pleased to say that nearly all of our practices in Berkshire West will be open, some will have an arrangement with a neighbouring practice to provide cover. But local people can be assured expert advice and support will be available to anyone who needs it,” he added.

“We’re asking people to please use these services responsibly and appropriately to make sure people with the most need receive care during this outbreak.”

Mental Health support - Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has created this guide on how people can access Mental Health support.

ENDS

If you need medical help and are unsure what to do, call NHS 111 for help and advice. They are available 24 hours a day.