The RCGP has issued guidance to GPs on workload prioritisation in the face of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
It said that without prioritisation, patients will die from other unrelated health problems as the NHS diverts its attention to coronavirus.
The resource provides examples of events commonly seen within general practice, and categorises them in terms of severity.
The RCGP said: ‘Past experience has shown that patients will die from non-Covid-19 related illnesses in addition to Covid-19 itself as we divert all of our health care resources towards it.
‘General practice has a huge role to play in maintaining the underlying health of our population in an attempt to prevent this.
‘It is vital that we continue to provide care to all patients if we have the capacity, with workloads stratified to ensure that those at greatest need are prioritised.’
For instance, GPs should continue to handle medication that cannot be dealt with by community pharmacy, regardless of the scale of the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, they should only maintain contraceptive services if capacity allows, and postpone travel vaccinations and DVLA examinations until the outbreak is over.
The BMA has also published guidance for GPs, covering topics such as remote consultations and the steps that practices should be employing.