Health professionals in Harrow have asked patients to consider if potential appointments could be put on hold to help them manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Genevieve Small, chairman of Harrow CCG, told a community Covid-19 webinar last night (Tuesday, January 19) that it would be useful if residents could “wait” before contacting surgeries if they believe their symptoms are not too serious.

“We wouldn’t normally ask this, but we are in extraordinary circumstances and we need to focus our efforts on Covid, including the vaccinations,” she said.

However, she stressed people should get in touch with their GP if they have any concerns about their health.

Doctors will then be able to advise on the next course of action, whether that be through a video call or a physical appointment if necessary.

Dr Small also suggested residents use the NHS 111 website for advice to prevent phone lines becoming inundated, though she said people should not hesitate to get in touch in a way which suits them best if they are in any way worried.

“It can be a difficult thing to judge, but do not delay if you have important symptoms,” she said.

“Nothing that can’t wait will be put off. We are open, we’re just being slightly careful in the way we use our services at the moment.”

She added programmes such as vital screenings and baby immunisations will continue as normal despite the increased pressures brought on by the pandemic.