People with COVID-19 symptoms to contact their GP

Patients with COVID-19 symptoms are being asked to contact their GP instead of NHS 24 from the end of March.

The move comes after a fall in the number of people using the service since the end of December and represents a return to pre-pandemic procedures.

Currently callers to the 111 helpline are assessed and, if necessary, transferred to a local community hub staffed by clinicians from across the healthcare system.

From 31 March patients will be asked to contact their GP in the first instance during the working day, as they already do for other respiratory conditions. If help and advice is required out of hours, 111 should still be called. NHS Inform’s coronavirus webpage remains the fastest way for people to obtain the latest health advice and information.