Top GP joins Number 10 daily briefing to urge patients to visit GP
NHS England's primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani co-led today’s daily coronavirus briefing from Number 10 Downing Street, using her platform to urge the nation to see their GP if needed.
It is the first time the GP has featured in the daily events, and saw Dr Kanani standing alongside housing and communities secretary Robert Jenrick MP, and Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England.
Dr Kanani’s message was one of reiterating to the public that primary care services remain open for use, even if delivered in a non-traditional format.
She said: ‘I wanted to reassure people who are listening and watching today that your primary care services are still there for you.
‘I want to pay tribute to our GP practices and our general practice teams, our dentists, our optometrists, the unsung heroes of community pharmacists on the high street, who have continued to work day after day and make sure that they’re there for you.
‘This Bank Holiday, they’ll be open as well.
‘And it might feel a little bit different - you might have more telephone calls or online video consultations; you might see someone dressed in PPE, as I was yesterday in my surgery.
'But you must know that your NHS is still there for you, so please come and contact us if you need advice or support over the coming weeks and months.’
She later thanked those who have returned from retirement and said that the NHS is now looking at ways of retaining them, whether they will work with their local practices, or remotely.
Mr Jenrick also paid tribute to primary care teams.
Dr Kanani further acknowledged that ‘right across the NHS’, people are ‘experiencing stress and strain’, and she mentioned personal challenges during this period, including having a family member who is shielding and having to home-school her children.
Yesterday, Dr Kanani fronted the #HelpUsHelpYou campaign disseminating the same message.
🚨 We are here - #HelpUsHelpYou#GeneralPractice may feel different, with triage, telephone calls, videos and protective equipment but we still want to speak to you if you are concerned about your health!#primarycare #COVIDー19 @NHSEngland @PrimaryCareNHS pic.twitter.com/EalGiG7nTJ— Dr Nikita Kanani (@NikkiKF) May 5, 2020
Later in the session, PHE's Professor Doyle referenced primary care services such as smoking cessation and immunisations, of which uptake has declined since the offset of the pandemic.
She stated: ‘Just one concern, is, of course, that where services have had to stop, for instance immunisation or smoking cessation, that we actually move as soon as we can when it's safe to re-establish the preventive services as well.’
Dr Kanani has previously told GPs it is fine to get 'creative' to carry on 'vital' immunisations.
Comments on this article have been disabled. We have received a number of complaints about the comments on this story.
It is completely acceptable to criticise NHS England and health ministers for their policies and actions. However, the vast majority of these comments were aimed at the person, which is unacceptable.