GP surgeries across North Staffordshire will open their doors to patients during Easter for what is expected to be ‘no normal weekend’.
NHS England contacted all practices last night to request that they open during ‘core hours’ on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
They have been told that transferring calls to NHS 111 is not an option and that essential face-to-face services including home visits may be required.
An email to GPs from Medical Director for Primary Care Dr Nikki Kanani and Deputy Director for GP Contracts Gabi Darby said Covid-19 demands are “anticipated to be at their highest so far in many areas.”
It continued: ‘We have previously asked for primary care to align with the rest of the NHS, and to treat the Easter bank holiday as a normal working day. This will be no normal weekend, as you will have anticipated.”
Dr Chandra Kanneganti, North Staffordshire Local Medical Committee Secretary, said: “A change of legislation is Parliament has said that bank holidays and Easter should be run as normal working days for GP practices.
“All practices will be open as they would on a normal working day. During opening hours people can call their own practice rather than calling 111.
“Most practices will be running with some staff and will be able to answer questions and book telephone appointments. It’s business as usual.”