Patients urged not to allow coronavirus to stop them getting the care they need

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The NHS in Cheshire is urging people not to allow coronavirus (COVID-19) to stop them getting the care they need.

The plea was made this week by Dr Katherine Butler, clinical lead for cancer at NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, after figures from NHS England showed that A&E attendances in England had fallen to their lowest total on record.

Dr Butler said: "I know these are really unusual times for everyone but I want to reassure everyone that the NHS is very much still open for business and is here for you. This is particularly important to remember if you notice anything unusual with your body.

"Things such as lumps and bumps which weren't there before or blood in your spit, wee or poo are things that your doctor wants to know about and know about early. They could indicate cancer but could equally be caused by another illness. However, speaking to your GP is the first step in investigating further."

GP practices across Cheshire remain open and the first step to take is to give your practice a call. You may not be able to visit your GP in the first instance but you will be able to arrange a time for conversation by phone or, in some cases, a video or online consultation.

If you do need to see your doctor at a face-to-face appointment, GP practices have arrangements in place to ensure this is done safely.

Dr Butler added: "I can't emphasise enough how important it is for you to pick up the phone to your GP practice if you notice any changes as this is not only the best way to help you but to also help the NHS in the long term.

"We know that protecting the NHS is important during coronavirus. But if we're able to see you as soon as you notice any changes, you're actually helping the NHS in the long run as it means we don't have a large number of people rushing to visit their GP when the current coronavirus situation passes.

"Please don't wait to see your GP if you notice anything unusual. Get in touch as the NHS in Cheshire is here for you."

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