GP services to remain open over Easter holidays during Covid-19 pandemic

PUBLISHED: 17:20 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:20 07 April 2020

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This content is subject to copyright.

GP practices across Devon will be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday as part of special arrangements made to ensure people can access medical services during the coronavirus pandemic.

To respond to the current high demand from patients, GP practices across Devon,

Torbay and Plymouth will be opening on Good Friday and Easter Monday as if they

were normal working weekdays – from 8am to 6pm.

Since the start of the outbreak, practices across the county have been asking patients to contact them via phone or online contact form on their website (as opposed to walking in) in the first instance if they need help.

On Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday, out-of-hours GP services will continue to be provided in the normal way by Devon Doctors by contacting 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.

Many community pharmacies will also be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Dr Paul Johnson, local GP and clinical chair of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for primary care in the county, said: “It’s a worrying time and practices are busy, so each GP surgery will be working with neighbouring practices to run a normal weekday service on the Easter public holidays.

“It is further evidence of the dedication of GPs, nurses and other vital practice staff that they are continuing to provide a crucial service at a time when they would normally be looking forward to a break – I’d like to thank them for their ongoing commitment at this challenging time.”

Patients should contact their practice in the normal way (online or by phone) and if they need to be seen, they will be directed to their normal surgery, or, in some cases, another practice in the local area.

Local people are also being reminded that GP practices and pharmacies have to make some changes to the way they work to keep patients and staff safe.

For example, GPs are enabling patients to speak to their doctor either online, over the phone or by video. This limits exposure and unnecessary contact.

Pharmacy teams are also working around the clock to make sure customers get the medicines they need.

Pharmacies are having to the limit the numbers of people in the stores during the day, in order to keep people safe.

Sue Taylor, Chief Officer for Devon Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: “Please be patient and treat staff with respect as they do their job.

“There are no shortages of medicines so please order and buy products as normal and remember, some over-the-counter medicines can be bought elsewhere.

“You can also help us by only requesting your usual supply of medications when required and not try and do it early or order extra, to help the supply chain keep up with demand.

“We will make sure suitable provision is made for people self-isolating owing to illness or being in at risk groups.

“Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

“This includescpeople of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Exmouth Journal. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Exmouth Journal