St George’s experts produce coronavirus guidance for GPs
Published: 06 March 2020
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A group of St George’s primary care and infectious disease experts have produced new guidance for GPs on handling the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
Published in the British Medical Journal today, the guidance provides advice for GPs on how to manage possible cases of COVID-19.
Professor of General Practice at St George’s and senior author on the paper, Pippa Oakeshott, spoke to the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning.
When asked about the risk to patients and how GPs will respond, she said: “At this stage, unless people have been in contact with a confirmed case or have been to a high-risk country, they probably won’t have the virus. A lot of what GPs will need to do is provide advice and reassurance.”
The guidance stresses that efforts need to be taken to ensure that in-person assessment of patients is avoided to limit the spread of the disease, and that patients should seek guidance from NHS 111 by phone or online.
Dr Mohammad Razai, lead author on the paper, who has had to handle possible COVID-19 cases at his practice said: “GPs are the first of port of call for patients. They trust us more than anyone else, which is why they often reach out to us even when told to stay at home and call NHS 111.
“Hopefully, after reading our paper, GPs will be more confident in managing patients – especially if more cases are directed towards GPs as numbers rise.”
Information for University staff, students and applicants on COVID-19 will be updated on this webpage.