New coronavirus rules for GP patients in Kirklees

If you have to go to a GP practice or health centre in Huddersfield or North Kirklees you must bring your own mask or face covering, health chiefs have advised.

People attending appointments must also come alone.

The new guidelines come amid the borough continuing to be an area of concern with higher infection levels than most.

Yesterday, Kirklees Council banned any gatherings of more than 30 people.

North Kirklees in particular has been the centre of Covid-19 spikes, with cases in Batley, Liversedge and Mirfield.

Unlike hospitals which have been supplying masks to patients, GP practices have said they will only do so in special circumstances if patients cannot supply their own.

The new rules come amid the continuation of the majority of appointments over the phone or via video-consultation.

GP practices will continue to limit the number of patients in surgeries and people are asked not to go to their GP practice unless advised to do so by a member of the practice team.

Dr Steve Ollerton, GP and clinical chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our GP practices safe. If you have been asked to attend your GP practice it is important that you wear a face covering that fits around, and covers your nose and mouth at all times.

“You should clean your hands before wearing your face covering and before and after you remove it. Hand sanitiser can be used when hand washing facilities are not available.”

Face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary school age children unassisted, people with reduced mental capacity or those with respiratory conditions.

Wearing a face covering does not replace the need to maintain social distancing and regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds on a regular basis, especially when returning home from a public place.

Dr Khalid Naeem, GP and clinical chair, NHS North Kirklees CCGs added: “Appointment times have been scheduled to minimise contact between people.

“If you arrive too early, you may be asked to wait outside and return at your appointment time. To help maintain social distancing we are asking people to attend their appointments alone wherever possible.

“If a carer usually supports you at your appointments they can still attend, but will be asked to wear a face covering where possible.”

Practices are following national infection control guidance. Staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks. Protective screens have been installed in many waiting areas and wherever possible social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Further information about wearing face coverings and how to make your own is available on the gov.uk website search ‘face coverings.’

This also includes exception card templates for people who may feel comfortable having something to show when shopping or using public transport.


Yorkshire Live – Health