Dr Nicola Smith, of Beds, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs, said: “During the last wave of the pandemic, we know some people didn’t always come forward with health concerns so it’s important to remember that the NHS is still open for patients.
“As tighter restrictions come into effect in our region I want to remind people that GPs, hospitals, maternity services, and community and mental health services are continuing to see patients for both new and ongoing conditions in safe environments, and people who need healthcare help or advice should continue to seek it.
“Our NHS services might look slightly different than they did before but we are still here for you.
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“With Covid rates on the rise, it is important that we all play our part to help keep infection rates down by remembering to wash our hands, covering our faces and staying two metres away from other people."
If patients need medical help and it is not life-threatening they should visit www.111.nhs.uk or call NHS111.
Trained call handlers and clinical advisors are there to make sure patients are directed to the best service to help them. If needed, NHS111 can make an appointment in a local NHS service such as;
• Your GP Practice
• Out of Hours GP
• Extended Access Service
• Urgent Treatment Centre
• If you need to go to A&E you may be given an arrival time – this might mean you spend less time in A&E
NHS111 may also give advice on self-care or direct patients to a community pharmacist for advice.
If you have any symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell – then you should self-isolate at home and call 119 to arrange a test.
You must also self-isolate if you are advised to do so by the NHS Test and Trace service because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.