Coronavirus: information and updates

Changes to medical appointments during coronavirus

The NHS is changing medical appointments because of coronavirus. Where possible, they are doing them over the phone. But they are also postponing or re-arranging non-urgent appointments.

Your healthcare professional should contact you by phone, text or letter if there are changes to your medical appointments. Healthcare teams will consider your family's needs to decide on any changes.

If you have not heard about any changes, you should:

  • check your surgery, hospital or clinic website for updates
  • call to ask if the appointment is going ahead

Different ways of accessing medical services

Postponed appointments

The NHS is prioritising people who need urgent care. Some non-urgent appointments, treatment and surgery are postponed for at least 3 months.

It can be disappointing and frustrating if your appointment is postponed.

If they cannot give you another date yet, you should let them know of any changes to your health. Speak with your GP or call NHS 111 if you're worried.

Having appointments from home

Many GP and community care appointments are by phone or video call. This includes nurses, community mental health teams, health visitors and community midwives. You can use your smartphone, tablet or computer for video calls.

Arranging video calls with your GP (NHS)

If you use British Sign Language (BSL), there is a free interpreting service for medical appointments by:

Going to appointments in person

Only go to an appointment in person if you have been told to. Do not go if you, your child or someone you live with has a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

Speak with your healthcare professional to see if you can arrange a phone or video call if you're worried.

If they ask for your child to go to the appointment in person, they may only allow one parent or carer to go with them.

Tests and assessments

Some health services will continue to see you if you have waited a long time for tests and assessments. This may be by phone or video call. You may need assessments in person at a later date.

Getting a diagnosis for your child

Dental appointments

Because of coronavirus, all routine dental treatment has been stopped.

If you think you need urgent dental treatment:

  • call your dentist
  • use the NHS 111 online service if you cannot contact your dentist or you do not have one

Find out how to get medical help from home (NHS)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 27/05/2020

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