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Doctors are reminding people to follow social distancing measures when they are using healthcare services in Somerset.

As more people begin to visit healthcare settings for appointments such as their flu jab, local GPs, emergency department staff and healthcare teams are reminding visitors that it’s important to follow the three simple steps of ‘Hands Face Space’: wash hands regularly, wear a face covering when visiting a health setting and maintain your distance from those not in your household.

Dr Emma Keane, local GP and Associate Clinical Director of Primary Care, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We understand that people may feel anxious about visiting healthcare settings again, particularly our most vulnerable patients. But across the NHS we have put in measures in place to keep you safe from infection during your visit to the surgery.

Our healthcare services are open and caring for people, appointments are being delivered face-to-face, online and over the telephone. If you are asked to come into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please remember to wear a face covering.

Face-to-face appointments are available topatients where clinically appropriate, but all patients will be triaged first so you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online initially to assess what would be most appropriate for you.

For more urgent healthcare needs, that are not a life-threatening medical emergency, ring NHS 111 or visit online. You can find out when and where to get help, and be contacted by a nurse if needed. As always, for emergencies such as a stroke, chest pain, or severe burns ring 999 or visit your local emergency (A&E) department.”

Yeovil Hospital Chief of Medicine, Dr Meridith Kane, said:

“The team at Yeovil Hospital has worked exceptionally hard to enable the services we offer to safely increase to near pre-pandemic levels. We have introduced comprehensive measures across the Trust to protect our patients, staff and visitors, including those that support social distancing throughout the building.

“But everyone has their part to play in protecting our community and the best way to keep yourself and those around you safe is to follow the guidance – Hands Face Space. Ensuring your hands are free from germs with regular hand washing and/or the use of alcohol gel, wearing a face covering and keeping a space between yourself and others.

“I would ask that members of the public are extra vigilant when in a hospital or other healthcare setting, where we are caring for people who are acutely unwell and at their most vulnerable. Following these three steps could significantly reduce the spread of Covid-19 and help to protect you, our patients and our staff from the virus.”

“We understand that demand for covid-19 tests has risen rapidly across the country, but it’s important to remember that you cannot book a test via the NHS111 system, or in person at your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital. If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 you can request a coronavirus test online, or call 119.”

See local health services in Somerset on our website: Find more information on booking a covid-19 test in Somerset

Text: We must keep on protecting each other. Hands, face, space. Stay alert, control the virus, save lives. Trifold of images, construction man washing hands, woman outside flower shop wearing a fabric mask, and two young men sitting apart from each other playing video games.