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Gravesend doctor's important information for patients seeing their GP during the coronavirus pandemic

by guest columnist GP Dr Manpinder Singh Sahota

For obvious safety reasons, GP surgeries have only offered telephone/video consultations during this Covid-19 pandemic.

We are now starting to slowly open up surgeries but this may differ between each surgery as to what they are bringing in patients for.

Dr Manpinder Sahota is urging people to contact their GP if they are worried
Dr Manpinder Sahota is urging people to contact their GP if they are worried

At Pelham Medical Practice in Gravesend, we have started doing routine Vitamin B12 injections, urgent blood tests and cervical smears.

Telephone asthma and diabetic reviews have also commenced. We are seeing patients face to face where there is an urgent need and strict distancing and hygiene protocols are being followed by all surgeries.

During this lockdown period many of my diabetic patients have had poor control over their blood sugars due to lack of activity and loss of appetite control.

I would suggest all diabetics – even if they were under control before Covid –to recheck their blood sugars via a home testing kit. If your sugars are higher than normal then please call your GP to arrange a telephone diabetic review.

I am worried though as many people are not reporting ongoing symptoms to their GP for various reasons.

Diabetic patients can keep an eye on their levels with home testing kits
Diabetic patients can keep an eye on their levels with home testing kits

Please do call us as most consultations can be fully assessed via the telephone or video. We are able to do blood tests, arrange x-rays, urgent ultrasounds and send prescriptions electronically to the nearest pharmacy.

Do not delay reaching out if you are worried as hospitals are accepting urgent referrals.

Routine referrals to hospital are still unfortunately cancelled and a lot of people are going to suffer from these very long waiting lists when hospitals are back to normal. All GPs will do their utmost best to support their patients while they are waiting to be seen by the hospital doctors and nurses.

But my message to all is that your GP is still providing consultations and most of the time it is not necessary to have a face-to-face consultation, but if an examination is required GP surgeries are very safe places to attend with patients and staff wearing masks and keeping their distance.

Dr Sahota is a GP partner at Pelham Medical Practice in Gravesend with a special interest in diabetes and lifestyle medicine. He is also a medical director of Vitality Home Health.

You can follow him on Twitter @sahota_m or Facebook – search for prevention medical practice.

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