A home visiting service will also be available for people suffering from coronavirus who are deemed suitable for this. This service is supported by GPs and community staff from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
GP practices are still open and caring for their patients but we need to make arrangements to ensure patients, NHS staff and the general public are supported to stay safe and avoid spreading the virus. This means access to all primary care services is via the telephone in the first instance.
Your GP practice or NHS 111 will ask about your symptoms and those of people you live with before arranging an appointment for you. The appointment might be over the telephone with your GP, it might be to attend your local coronavirus clinic or it might be to attend your usual practice in person.
For the time-being, all GP practices and coronavirus clinics are asking patients not to walk in. Only patients with a pre-arranged appointment will be seen.
Dr Kiren Collison, GP and Clinical Chair of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), said: “The coronavirus clinics and home visiting service will bring together clinicians and resources to support patients with coronavirus in the community.
“Precautions are being taken in each clinic to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. This is to protect patients, staff and the general public.
“The appreciation for our local NHS shown by the public across Oxfordshire has been encouraging for all of us who work in the service. We are doing all that we can to support and treat patients with coronavirus. However, it is important that patients know we are still here for their other health care needs. So if you need care, we will do everything we can to ensure you receive it, but please telephone us first.”
If you have coronavirus symptoms, which are a high temperature or a new continuous cough, you should stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. Others in the household should self-isolate for 14 days. You can visit NHS online and use the 111 coronavirus service to get support and advice. Only call 111 if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or you do not have internet access.
For any other health condition or symptoms you should contact your practice as usual, unless it is outside normal working hours, then please contact 111, which will direct you to the appropriate service.
The OCCG says the most important thing residents can do to stay safe, protect their family and protect the NHS is to follow Public Health advice to stay at home. The only reasons to leave home are to shop for basic necessities, pick up medicines, travel to work when you absolutely cannot work from home and exercise once a day - alone or with members of your household. If you go out, stay two metres away from other people at all times and wash your hands as soon as you get home for at least 20 seconds.
The new clinics have been set up in various locations across Oxfordshire including Banbury, Bicester, Witney, East Oxford, Kennington, Woodfarm, Abingdon, Henley, Wallingford, Thame, Didcot and Wantage.