THE GP partner and chief executive at Wharfedale Airedale and Craven Alliance Dr Nick Clarke has said practices are doing all they can to offer their services to patients and urge patients to contact them if they have health issues which require attention.

Dr Clarke said: “It is a hugely challenging time for patients, practices and practice staff and we all want life to return to “normal” as soon as possible”.

“All practices are using new ways of communicating with patients (such as video consultation) and doing all they can to offer their services to patients.” At present, patients should only attend the surgery if advised to by the practice team and, if seen as a face to face consultation, the health professional will be wearing personal protective equipment as a precaution.

Across the WACA Network, only one practice has had to reduce its service provision - Grassington Medical Practice - and this remains under constant review.

The alliance has agreements in place with neighbouring groups of practices to support one another and work collaboratively if needed.

To help practices, make sure your details are up to date such as email addresses and phone numbers. Practices are using SMS message and email more than ever before. Register with a preferred pharmacist to receive prescriptions and use eConsult, via the practices websites, for non-urgent problems. If you think you have coronavirus, ring 111.