GPs, walk-in centres and pharmacies in Liverpool are set to remain open over the Easter bank holidays due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Surgeries would normally remain closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday but this year they are set to stay open to support people who need doctor's appointments, prescriptions or other services.
NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation which plans NHS healthcare services across the city, made the announcement this afternoon.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, NHS Liverpool CCG chair and local GP, said: “We know that this is a really difficult time for everyone, particularly for those with ongoing health conditions. It’s important that people know that their GPs are there to support them over the bank holiday weekend this year.
“During the next few months people will continue to need help with lots of different health problems that aren’t to do with coronavirus. If you need advice or care from your GP practice, then please get in touch by phone first – please don’t visit the practice without speaking to them first.
“We might be able to give you advice over the phone or via a video conferencing system, but if your GP or nurse decides that you do need to see someone face to face, they will still arrange an appointment for you – either at your own practice, or another one near to where you live.”
Dr Lemmens said customers are also able to order prescriptions and other tasks online and that they should visit their GP's website for more information.
How will GPs, pharmacies and walk-in centres operate over Easter?
- GP surgeries will open as normal on Good Friday and Easter Monday while closing over the weekend
- Walk-in centres will open as normal from 8am to 8pm with the exception of the Hanover Street site in the city centre – patients need to call in advance to make an appointment at the centres on 0300 100 1004
- Pharmacies will remain open but hours will vary – patients should contact their pharmacy individually to get their opening hours
What is the advice on coronavirus and contacting health services?
The NHS advice on contacting health services if you believe you have coronavirus or if you have a routine appointment is: “Anyone with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature or a new, continuous cough – who needs medical advice, should use the dedicated NHS 111 coronavirus service online at: www.111.nhs.uk/COVID-19.
“You should only call NHS 111 if you can’t get help online, as their phone lines are very busy at this time.
“If people have a routine appointment booked with either your GP practice or another health service at either a hospital or health centre, they should speak to them before attending, to check if it is still going ahead.
“There’s also a reminder that for any urgent medical help over the bank holidays, you can visit www.111.nhs.uk, or call 111 if you don’t have online access, 24 hours a day.”