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Health help at hand

Staff at GCH observe a minute's silence for lost colleagues

THERE are fears people are not seeking treatment for health issues unrelated to Covid-19 for fear of being exposed to the virus in healthcare settings, or of burdening the NHS. Nationally the message is to get help and the NHS in Dumfries and Galloway says they are prepared. GP Clinical Lead for Wigtownshire Dr Charlie Dunnett said: “Anyone with a concern which they feel requires attention should phone their GP practice – as these are all still running. “Some changes in procedure, however, mean that we are likely to phone you, or that you may be offered a video consultation. Face-to-face consultations have been reduced but are still available, and in those circumstances staff may be wearing personal protective equipment. “Prescriptions will be sent directly to your pharmacy and certificates will be posted.” The Emergency Department in Stranraer's Galloway Community Hospital continues to operate as normal, and anyone who requires urgent medical treatment should always attend their closest emergency department in the first instance. As spokesman said: “People should also be assured that great care is being taken to ensure that no one is exposed to the risk of transmission of coronavirus, and that patients with Covid-19 have a specific, separate route for treatment.” In Scotland, specific assessment centres have been set up to deal with patients displaying symptoms of Covid-19. There is one at GCH, by appointment only. The spokesman said: “If you are concerned you may have the symptoms of Covid-19 you should first be guided by the NHS Inform website and if still concerned telephone 111. “Coronavirus is a particular concern for older people and those with underlying health conditions. A shielding programme is working to help protect those most particularly at risk, allowing them to remain at home with very limited interaction. Dumfries and Galloway Council and volunteers are working hard to deliver vital supplies to those who are shielding at home.” Dr Dunnett said: “Here is what you can do to protect the NHS and save lives: ]Please stay at home, aside from work, essential shopping or for health reason Wash your hands more often and for longer, especially when you get home and before eating. When out, make sure you stand two metres, or 6 feet, apart; this may appear rude, but it will save lives ]Queue outside shops if busy If someone in the household displays symptoms of the Coronavirus, they should self-isolate by remaining at home for seven days. In a household where someone becomes symptomatic, the other household members should self-isolate for 14 days. “These changes in how we act can potentially save hundreds of lives in Dumfries and Galloway – the lives of our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. “Prevention is key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and helping to save lives. “We have a great history of team working in Dumfries and Galloway, and by working together we will get through this. Thank you.”

<< back Published: 29 Apr 2020, 10:29

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