Public reminded that NHS is still open for business

A new Scottish Government publicity campaign will remind people medical help is still available for health issues which are not related to coronavirus.

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 24th April 2020, 1:50 pm
It is vital for people to know that GP surgeries and hospitals are still there for them if needed.
It is vital for people to know that GP surgeries and hospitals are still there for them if needed.

During the lockdown patients have been delaying seeing their GP, as well as drops in urgent cancer referrals and families getting their children vaccinated.

Possible reasons for this include people not wanting to put further strain on the NHS or fears over becoming infected with the virus, as well as a misconception that doctors do not want to see patients.

The NHS is Open campaign will urge people to contact their GP or hospital if they have any urgent health concerns.

Sign up to our daily Stornoway Gazette Today newsletter

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “It is vital for people to know that GP surgeries and hospitals are still there for them if needed.

“While we appreciate the public doing all they can to reduce the strain on our NHS at this challenging time, if people have serious health concerns or symptoms, it’s just as important as ever to seek immediate medical assistance.

“This pandemic does not mean we’ve stopped the fight against cancer, heart attacks or other serious health conditions. It is vital people continue to raise any health worries with their doctor at the earliest possible time and continue to attend regular check-ups and appointments when they are invited to do so.”

Dr Carey Lunan, a GP and chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland, will feature in TV adverts for the campaign. She said: “The NHS is open and it is safe. Appointments may feel a little different – they might happen on the phone or even by videolink. If people need to be seen face-to-face, we can arrange that too.

“Accident and Emergency units are also still open and able to help. We are here for patients and we want to hear from anyone if they have an urgent medical problem.”