From the front line: GP surgery
Dr Ketan Kansagra (RGS ’92) shares the challenges and solutions posed by the Covid-19 crisis, from the perspective of those working in a local NHS setting.
“As a GP in Crawley, we have been working hard to contact our patients – especially the vulnerable ones – to help support them through this difficult time.
We have changed our appointment and triage system to ensure we speak to all patients first, and we only see those that we cannot treat over the phone. We have also started to use video consultations, which has been really helpful in our work. We have made sure our patients know we are here for them. Our surgery is also supporting two large local care homes, which is challenging given that these residents are particularly high-risk.
We are now all wearing scrubs everyday, which reminds me of my years working in hospital. We try to reduce the number of patients that have to see us, as we want to keep the risk of infection to a minimum, but when we do see patients we wear the PPE we have been given. I have just seen the email from the RGS DT department, which is fantastic and I certainly will be approaching them for help with visors. My new work wear is certainly a far cry from my usual suit and tie!
I also work for the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which commissions healthcare for West Sussex. In my CCG role, I am working closely with local practices in Crawley to coordinate ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ sites to see our patients.
It has been the busiest period of my working life, and the challenges have been unique. It has been difficult for everyone – doctors, nurses, our staff and our patients. Nevertheless, I am confident that we will get through this, and look back with pride at what we all did to help and support each other.
I have been really touched by the kind messages from our patients and the public for the NHS and emergency services. Speaking as someone within the NHS, they really help brighten our day and we really appreciate the kindness.
I hope that everyone stays as safe as they can, and I look forward to getting back to normal life as soon as we can.”