Worcester News Article – 20th April

As the key message from the Government continues to be for us to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives during the Coronavirus outbreak, we are seeing many changes and challenges within health and care services in Worcestershire. The newly merged Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has issued an update about the way in which GP services are now being run. All patients requiring a GP appointment are being asked to telephone the practice. Where possible consultations will take place via video call or telephone. If face to face appointments are needed, this may be at a different location to your usual practice.

Restrictions placed on local dental practices has led to routine check-ups being cancelled. Emergency dental services are still in operation, but NHS England is urging people to contact their own dentist by phone initially or NHS 111 if out of hours, rather than visiting Accident and Emergency departments.
As information about access to health services is changing regularly, we would encourage you check for the latest updates. Links to information for patients about access to health services in Worcestershire can be found on our website, in addition to information in alternative formats, including other languages and Easy Read.

Communities have come together to provide support for those more vulnerable at this time. Here in Worcestershire we are aware of many voluntary organisations and local groups who are providing much needed support. This is being coordinated by Here2Help run by Worcestershire County Council. Visit their website for further information about how vulnerable people can access support and how to offer to help others. The government has issued guidance about how to help others safely and guidance for carers, which can be found on our website.

We are keen to hear from people about experiences of accessing services at this time, so we can identify what is working well, what the issues are and what further information is needed. We will be launching an online survey shortly, based on Healthwatch England guidance to ensure the information can be used both locally and nationally.

Please look out for this on our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk and our social media pages. Alternatively contact us in confidence with your feedback at info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk or you can call and leave us a message and we will ring you back on 01386 550264.