RUBY Country Medical Group, covering Holsworthy, Hatherleigh and Stratton, is taking measures to protect its patients and maintaining the service for the community.

The Ruby Country Medical Group (RCMG) is continuing with a service, but is looking to drastically reduce the number of patients entering the surgery to protect their health and assist in maintaining a service, managing partner Jane Wells has said.

Ms Wells said: “The situation is fast moving and advice and information is changing day-by-day, so RCMG are using Facebook and Twitter to update the general public.

“RCMG is recommending that the public only attend the practice if they need to and to this end ask that only the patient enters the practice for their appointment, and ask that friends and family wait in the car. Further, patients will be asked to wait outside the building (in their car) until the clinician is ready to see them.”

GP appointments will now all be telephone triage and invited in only clinician need. Patients with respiratory symptoms can be seen in Room 45 at Holsworthy, Consulting Room 2 at Hatherleigh and Consulting Room 7 in Stratton. There are personal protective equipment supplies available in each of these rooms.

RCMG is screening all patients attending for nursing appointments and, if needed, will see these patients in the isolation rooms using personal protective equipment as required.

RCMG is cancelling spirometry clinics, travel clinics, 40-75 health checks and new patient checks for the next month.

Pill checks, asthma checks, diabetes mellitus annual review, stroke and CHD appointments, GUS, mental health and depression reviews will be carried out over the telephone.

RCMG encourages patients to purchase their own blood pressure machines so that they do not have to attend the practice to have their blood pressure monitored.

Ring changes will be reviewed by the nursing team to see if they can be postponed.

Appointments for injections, blood tests and INR monitoring will be continued.

Appointments will be offered for childhood immunisations, and RCMG will limit the other patients in the building at these times. These will go ahead in Holsworthy, Tuesday afternoon; Hatherleigh, Wednesday afternoon; and Stratton, Thursday afternoon.

Social prescribing appointments will be offered by telephone.