General practice is open but there is very high demand which means it can be difficult for people to get through on the phones. Face to face appointments are available to those who most need them, but people will continue to be offered phone or video consultations. We are working to improve the position but please bear with us and treat staff with respect.
It is totally unacceptable to see verbal abuse, insults and intimidating behaviour being directed at NHS staff going about their crucial role in supporting the Covid-19 vaccination programme and providing other services. We know there are frustrations with the on-going pandemic, and those with different views on the vaccine or pandemic restrictions have a right to voice them. But verbal abuse and physical intimidation against NHS staff is totally unacceptable.
We hope everyone will join us in taking every opportunity to thank our dedicated NHS teams for their on-going efforts in tackling the virus and addressing the delays to other services which it has caused.
In terms of masks and social distancing in healthcare settings; this remains national policy across the NHS. The virus has not gone away, infection rates are rising, and it is the right thing to do to continue taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus in healthcare settings. We must protect patients who may be more vulnerable and we must protect staff so they can keep delivering the essential care that all of us may need at any time. People need to wear a mask and follow all the other guidance when visiting NHS sites, and do so without objection or abuse towards our staff.