Derbyshire GPs are appealing to patients for help in coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic by thinking carefully before ringing for an appointment, as they remain open but unable to carry out some routine care appointments.

Throughout the pandemic, GPs have continued to treat patients, with an increase in the use of phone and video consultations to ensure a reduction in unnecessary contact within the surgery. Patients are still seen face-to-face in surgery where this is necessary. In recent weeks, practice staff have become increasingly busy helping to run the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Patients should continue to call their practice if they are ill or, but have concerns about things they are worried might be a sign of cancer so that these can be checked out. Patients should though consider also using the NHS 111 service for advice where appropriate, while also using Urgent Treatment Centres if they are available. In cases of life-threatening health emergencies, they should still call 999.

GP Susie Bayley, who is Medical Director of the General Practice Task Force Derbyshire, said it was a challenging time for GPs and they need help from their patients so they could treat the most urgent cases.

“During this critical period we are still open, and are able to care for those with urgent problems and those with problems that may represent something sinister,” she said.

“But we are unable to cope with some routine and planned care right now, , such as routine follow up checks or reviews and we need patients to understand that we have to prioritise.”

“If you have a life-threatening health emergency, call 999, and if you have an urgent care need you should call 111 or visit an Urgent Treatment Centre. These services can help you to access the care you need quickly and efficiently.”

“Contact your GP only if you need to discuss any other serious concerns you may have about your physical or mental health, including cancer and end of life care.”

You can find your nearest Urgent Treatment Centres on the NHS website.


If you need to contact a GP, please do not go into the surgery in person.

You can:

·       visit the GP surgery's website, or use an online service to contact your GP – find your GP surgery to get its website details

·       call your GP surgery

·       Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.

A phone or video call with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional may be booked for you. You will only be asked to visit the surgery if absolutely necessary.

If you think you have Coronavirus and need advice, please visit the NHS 111 coronavirus service: 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.