GP practices have been advised to remote triage all patients who use online booking in order to ‘mitigate any risk’ of patients infected with Covid-19 attending the practice.
In a letter sent to practices by NHS England, practices were advised to make changes to their bookings to prevent ‘potentially infected patients’ from attending the practice by initially triaging via telephone or video.
In the letter, NHS England director of primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said:
"To mitigate any risk that potentially infected patients book appointments online and attend the practice when they should be receiving advice to self-isolate or go through testing, all practices are now being advised to change face-to-face appointments booked online to triage appointments via telephone or video."
The letter also advised practices to consider putting 'all suitable patients' on electronic repeat dispensing 'as soon as possible'.
"Practices should not change their repeat prescription durations or support patients trying to stockpile: these actions may put a strain on the supply chain and exacerbate any potential shortages.
"Practices should consider putting all suitable patients on electronic repeat dispensing as soon as possible. The whole repeatable prescription can be valid for a year but each repeat should be for no longer than the patient has now. For example, if the patient has prescriptions for a month’s supply now then the repeat dispensing should be set up as 13 x 28 days’ supply."