Patients urged 'not to hold back' from seeking medical treatment for other conditions during pandemic

Posted: Wednesday 08 April 2020 at 10:49

A statement from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has recommended patients ‘not to hold back’ from seeking medical treatment for other conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement also recommends the public must be fully confident that they can and should, seek medical assistance if they have symptoms which cause concern, or they already are being treated for a serious health condition.

Over the last few weeks the Macular Society, along with many ophthalmologists, has become concerned that some patients may be too worried to attend appointments.  The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has published advice urging patients to continue receiving injections for wet AMD, and other conditions which would cause severe visual loss if not treated.

Injections for wet AMD, and other conditions which would cause severe visual loss if not treated, are still going ahead.

Hospitals will continue to treat patients considered at high risk from loss of vision if not seen in time, while minimising the amount of contact patients have with other patients and with hospital staff. You can also read more about the joint efforts of RCOphth and The College of Optometrists to minimise the risk of visual loss by maintaining essential eye care in hospitals and the community here.

The key recommendations are:

  • You should continue to seek NHS help through your GP, NHS111, 999 or A&E if you or your family become acutely unwell and believe that you may be suffering from a serious or life threatening condition
  • You should continue with ongoing treatments for all your medical conditions and attend any hospital or GP appointments that are requested. Routine care is being carried out, where possible, through ‘phone calls or video links so you will not be asked to attend unless absolutely necessary
  • Hospitals are safer than your own home if you are in need of emergency care. The reorganisation of services includes protecting patients who are being seen for conditions other than COVID-19.

You can read the AoMRC’s full statement here.

For more information on what clinics are doing to ensure patient safety, read our latest advice, or call our advice and information service on 0300 3030 111.