This year, the NHS has worked particularly hard to save lives and carry out countless tests for Covid-19, meaning that they have been overloaded with work. However, despite how busy they have been, today the NHS has announced that this weekend there will be more GP appointments available for urgent healthcare in London.

The Medical Director for the NHS in London (Dr Vin Diwakar) stated that “The NHS is under enormous pressure from high Covid infection rates and winter illnesses, but staff are going the extra mile to help Londoners get the care they need – including providing more GP appointments for those with urgent health issues.”

As we are in the winter season, hospitals are being flooded with patients who have colds or even the flu. That the NHS has increased GP consultations will come as a relief to many, especially the elderly. Having much weaker immune systems and thus being more susceptible to catching viruses, older patients will view this news in a positive way and hopefully take advantage of the available appointments.  

The appointments will mostly take place remotely (via a video or phone call), with face-to-face appointments being carried out if necessary. Although the NHS wants to encourage people to book these extra appointments if they feel ill and have symptoms of the virus, Dr Diwakar also urges the public to reserve “999 and A&E … for people with serious or life-threatening conditions.”

Following this news, local boroughs have urged their residents to take up this offer. For example, Bromley has sent its residents a text message today: “The NHS is very busy, but GPs are offering extended hours, pharmacies are available and 111 can help out of hours. 999 and A&E should only be used for emergencies”, encouraging residents to make use of the appointments if needed.