Changes to the ways that Rossendale GP practices are seeing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted by: lisamitchell5 - Posted on:

Since the country went in to lockdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GP practices around the country have had to find new ways to run their services, to ensure the safety of both patients and staff, with one of the main changes being the way patients access their GP.

In Rossendale, it is extremely likely that patients who contact their GP surgery will talk to a member of the practice team over the phone first and then a clinician who will make a decision about whether or not a follow-up can be done by telephone or video consultation, or if a face-to-face appointment is needed.

Dr Abdul Mannan, a Haslingden GP and Clinical Director of Rossendale West Primary Care Network, said: “Although restrictions are starting to ease, with shops and restaurants reopening we do need to remember that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. We need to stay safe, and carry on taking every precaution we can for the sake of ourselves and others’’.

“We’re finding that a lot of people’s health concerns can be managed over the phone, which not only saves them time, as they don’t have to travel to the surgery, but it also limits the number of people they come into contact with and the risk to those patients. Furthermore we are now responding to more patients concerns than ever on a same day basis’’

GP practices in Rossendale were quick to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and have been working hard to implement new ways of working developed by the NHS in response to the outbreak. A separate service operated to see patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, so that they are seen separately and safely.

Dr Mannan commented further: “In Rossendale we have quite of lot of people who are quite vulnerable and we need to continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety. We are doing this by helping as many people as possible through telephone or video consultations. At the same time, we have put in place important measures to make sure people can stay socially distanced. All of our clinicians wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep themselves and our patients safe.

‘’Some of those new ways of working mean things take a little longer and we just can’t see as many people as we used to in the same time. For example, an appointment with a nurse that once took 10 minutes, now needs additional cleaning time to be allocated, so clinical rooms can be thoroughly cleaned between each appointment and PPE can be changed.’’

If you need to have a face to face appointment at a GP Surgery, the below procedures will most likely be in place and you may experience one or more of the following:-

• Asked prior to your appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms
• Asked to wear a face covering to your appointment (face mask or scarf)
• May be met at the door by a member of staff who will direct you
• Requested to attend alone
• Asked that you avoid using the toilet if possible
• Some surgeries may also take your temperature before you enter the premises

Dr Mannan said: ‘’We understand that change can often feel uncomfortable or frightening, especially when it involves something as vital as healthcare but please rest assured that the measures currently in place are there to ensure the prompt, safe and efficient assessment of patients’ needs while also reducing the possibility of entire practices having to close down for cleaning, testing and, in the worst case scenario, large numbers of staff having to remain home to self-isolate

“We are grateful for the many messages of support and enquiries about our own welfare. It has been heartening to be reminded quite how valued general practice is, something it is very easy to forget during the long, stressful working day’’.

If you require a GP appointment please contact the practice that you are registered at. Medication can also be requested through myGP app, which is free to install on any smartphone. For further information visit:

For the latest NHS information and advice about COVID-19 visit: