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Flitwick
Saturday, 6 March 2021

NHS in Bedfordshire is still open for patients during new restrictions

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Bedfordshire entered Tier 4 Stay at Home alert restrictions on 20 December 2020 but the NHS is encouraging anyone who has health concerns to contact their local NHS if they need to.

Dr Nicola Smith of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs, said:

“During the last wave of the pandemic we know some people didn’t always come forward with health concerns so it’s important to remember that the NHS is still open for patients.

“As tighter restrictions come into effect in our region I want to remind people that GPs, hospitals, maternity services, and community and mental health services are continuing to see patients for both new and ongoing conditions in safe environments, and people who need healthcare help or advice should continue to seek it.

“Our NHS services might look slightly different than they did before but we are still here for you.

“With Covid rates on the rise, it is important that we all play our part to help keep infection rates down by remembering to wash our hands, covering our faces and staying two metres away from other people.”

If patients need medical help and it is not life-threatening they should visit www.111.nhs.uk or call NHS111.

Trained call handlers and clinical advisors are there to make sure patients are directed to the best service to help them. If needed, NHS111 can make an appointment in a local NHS service such as:

  • Your GP Practice
  • Out of Hours GP
  • Extended Access Service
  • Urgent Treatment Centre
  • If you need to go to A&E you may be given an arrival time – this might mean you spend less time in A&E

NHS111 may also give advice on self-care or direct patients to a community pharmacist for advice.

If you have any symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell – then you should self-isolate at home and call 119 to arrange a test.

You must also self-isolate if you are advised to do so by the NHS Test and Trace service because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

The new restrictions in Bedfordshire include:

If you live in a tier 4 area, you must stay at home. You must not leave your home to travel unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

  • Work, where you cannot work from home
  • Accessing education and for caring responsibilities
  • Visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • Visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • Buying goods or services from premises that are open in Tier 4 areas, including essential retail, but these should be within your local area wherever possible
  • Spending time or exercising outdoors. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • Attending the care and exercise of a pet, or veterinary services

Read more about the new Tier 4 restrictions here.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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