A SURGERY in Ludlow has launched a campaign to help clear the backlog of treatments caused by the Covid pandemic.

The GPs are also concerned about people who may be putting their long-term health or even lives at risk by not getting non-Covid symptoms looked at.

Before the pandemic, NHS waiting times were already worse than usual and this is likely to have deteriorated.

Unfortunately, once GPs have referred a patient, they are sent no details about their progress. The campaign aims to identify the Portcullis Surgery patients who need prioritising to ensure that their waiting times are minimised.

“Now that winter pressures are easing and the Covid-19 vaccination program is well underway, we want to find out the extent of the backlog for our patients and help to expedite their treatment,” said the practice’s senior partner, Dr Catherine Beanland.

“We are worried that people have avoided coming to the surgery with medical problems because they don’t want to be a burden or cause additional work for the practice or the hospitals.

“They may also be scared of catching the virus from others at the practice, or anxious about being admitted to hospital.”

The practice says that none of the concerns mentioned needs to be worried about.

They also want to assure patients that it is absolutely safe to come to the practice as it is regularly sterilised with UV light technology, the number of patients attending is kept low and the waiting room is socially distanced.

In addition, all patients with any Covid-19 symptoms are seen in the practice’s ‘Hot Room’, a room with a separate entrance from the rest of the building which was installed at the start of the pandemic.

“We are trying to make it easier for our patients to tell us if their condition has worsened over the past year, or if they have any new, unreported symptoms,” added Dr Beanland.

“We would prefer them to fill in the form on our website but if this is not possible, they can either call the surgery to book an appointment or pop in to one of our three drop-in clinics at Ludlow Mascall Centre.

“If we have patients who are undiagnosed and untreated, then the effect on their long-term health and mortality is going to be significant, we don’t want them to suffer in silence, we want to help.”

The form can be found at www.portcullis.surgery.co.uk on the homepage.