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Tourists to be asked to use own GPs

Tourists to be asked to use own GPs

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:01am 7th June 2020.

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Tourists coming to Cornwall this summer could be asked to use their own GP services remotely if they fall ill while visiting.

Health bosses in Cornwall say that with GP services expecting to be under added pressure this summer they will discourage visitors from adding to their load.

Instead they could be asked to use their own GP services at home using phone or video connections.

Dr Iain Chorlton, chair of the NHS Kernow governing body, said that with remote services being used across the country due to coronavirus there was an opportunity to use them more widely.

He said: “When we might see visitors coming into Cornwall we don’t want them to put extra demand on our health services.

“We will be asking people to contact their own GPs if they need assistance while here.

“There is no reason why we have to put extra strain on our services here in Cornwall.

“We can expect large numbers of people to access their own surgeries remotely.”

Dr Chorlton said that while numbers of covid-19 cases in Cornwall had been relatively low compared to other parts of the country people still needed to follow the guidelines to prevent spread.

He said: “This pandemic isn’t over. We continue to work closely with our public health colleagues to understand how the virus affects our communities.”

Speaking yesterday he added: “The numbers have been low across the south west and certainly locally. We haven’t been hit particularly hard here, our NHS has kept up with demand.

“There are currently four patients in Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske with covid-19.”

Dr Chorlton said that antibody testing was now being rolled out in Cornwall in co-operation with health agencies in Devon and Somerset.

He said: “Our labs have started offering antibody testing at the back end of last week. That is for health and care staff in the first instance.

“That shows if you have had an infection of covid-19. A positive antibody test does not show that you are immune to covid-19.”

Dr Chorlton said that around 1,000 antibody tests a day are being undertaken across Devon and Cornwall but said there was capacity for up to 4,000 a day.

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