Changes to your local health services
09 April 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Changes to routine services
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, all NHS organisations have been directed to review planned or routine services to ensure capacity is created to protect NHS services and treat people with COVID-19 as well as complying with HM Government social distancing guidelines.
General Practitioner (GP) services
GP services and other primary care settings such as Walk-in Centres and Minor Injury/Illness Units represent the first line for many members of the public when they have a health need. However, as directed by NHS England, all GP practices and walk in services have now moved to a system of teletriage. In practice, this means that people will be assessed via a telephone or online consultation prior to being advised on what to do next.
Patients who are assessed as requiring a face to face consultation will be offered one at their own or another GP practice. Appointments will also be available at existing walk in facilities following clinical assessment.
The GP Extended Access Scheme which provides face to face appointments outside core hours has been suspended as it is not possible to resource this service during the pandemic.
All planned (elective) surgery has been postponed to help create capacity within Arrowe Park Hospital. Outpatient appointments that are usually delivered face to face have moved to either a telephone or on line consultation, face to face appointments will be available in clinically critical circumstances.
Urgent care services such as A&E continue to operate, although people should consider contacting primary care services or NHS 111 if their condition is not urgent or life threatening.
Some services provided by Wirral Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust have been either suspended or partially suspended to help release staff to support the response to the pandemic. Details of services impacted can be found here https://www.wchc.nhs.uk/news/community-health-and-care-services-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Mental Health services
People with severe mental ill-health continue to be supported by the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trusts community mental health teams. Service users are accessing help and support via telephone or video-conference where possible, and receive home visits if required and in line with social distancing guidance. People requiring inpatient care are being admitted and discharged as usual. CWP’s respite centre for people with learning disabilities and their family/carers (Thorn Heys) has temporarily closed. Alternative support is being provided to families on a case by case basis.
Frequently asked questions
A number of frequently asked questions and answers have been developed; these will be updated as services change.
Members of the public should contact individual NHS providers for enquiries about their care and treatment