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Patients are still struggling to access face-to-face care from GPs as Covid fears continue.
Last year YorkshireLive reported that only a handful of patients were able to see a GP at a practice
And it appears that many are still refusing to see anyone if they believe their symptoms may be coronavirus. That includes poorly children.
Patients are being forced to go to an official NHS test centre to get a PCR test and prove a negative result before they can book an appointment.
The quicker lateral flow tests that are readily available have been deemed too inaccurate to be safe.
Patients are advised to go to A&E if their symptoms worsen but it is feared that many minor illnesses are being left untreated as the barriers to seeing a GP continue to be raised.
In one case, an eight-year-old girl from Dewsbury was left in pain untreated for two days after the Calder View Practice refused to see her.
Dad, Simon Cope, said he was “very annoyed” about the lack of support.
He said his daughter had complained of a sore throat but upon ringing for an appointment the family was told a negative PCR test was required.
There were no test slots available that day and they had to wait until the following day to take one.
The negative result arrived the day after that.
To compound their frustration the practice then said a telephone consultation was sufficient meaning they did not need to visit the premises.
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A GP diagnosed his daughter with tonsillitis and she was prescribed antibiotics.
He said: “Because of the timings – booking a PCR, the time of day of getting result plus only being able to book a GP appointment first thing on a morning, it meant the appointment was delayed 2 days.
“It was also two unnecessary days off school.
“A virtual appointment could have been done on the first day.
“It seemed to be poor management at the practice if at one end you have a person insisting on a PCR test pre-appointment, and then at the other you have the actual GP choosing to do an online appointment, meaning that no PCR test was ever needed.”
YorkshireLive is also aware of a case in East Ardsley where GPs refused to see a pre-school child who was struggling with a cough and his breathing.
His mum had to travel into Leeds to get a test and wait until the next day after the result came in to get treatment. She said he had been struggling to catch his breath.
She was advised to go to A&E if the symptoms got worse.
The difficulty in accessing GP services comes as record levels of attendance at A&E continue.
Emergency medicine leaders have warned the NHS is in a “precarious position”.
Calderdale Royal Hospital based consultant in acute medicine, Dr Nick Scriven, has called for urgent action.
Dr Scriven, the immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “Today’s release of NHS performance data shows the extent of the precarious situation the NHS is in – it is worsening yet we are in a position of having to recover everything left behind during the pandemic, rising cases of Covid and new caseloads of patients with developing issues.
“Despite the government’s desire to place all focus on the Covid-19 vaccination programme as the answer to all of the problems in the NHS, it is a smokescreen for the wider damage that has occurred over many years – and that can’t be repaired by tackling Covid alone.
“As we can see, performance is worse in many areas compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and we are currently in a period when the NHS would traditionally regroup ahead of the winter.
“There is no time to regroup, however, and the government needs to focus on how it will enable the NHS to cope against a backdrop of chronic underfunding, reduced bed capacity, staffing crises and a social care system in disarray – along with the pandemic and recovery work.
“Not only do staff have to contend with current pressures and worry about the growing number Covid cases in front of them – despite the vaccine programme – there is also asymptomatic Covid transmission, a long summer in full personal protective equipmen