‘new normal’ is a phrase we’ve all heard a lot during recent months,
but what does this mean for our health services? We take a look at the
services that are being switched back on following
lockdown, and how you can access them.
in Wales is currently in Phase I of a staged return to full services,
but routine appointments are not expected to be fully up and running
until 2021. While many dental practices remained
open during lockdown to provide emergency care, check-ups and treatment
such as fillings and orthodontics have been on hold since March.
is particularly problematic for dentists because of the procedures that
generate virus-spreading aerosols, which can put dental staff and
patients at increased risk. Phase I, which began
in July, allows patients to be assessed for urgent care at their
practices, but anyone requiring invasive procedures such as high-speed
drilling will still need to be referred to a specialist Urgent Dental
II, from October, will allow practices to address the backlog of need
from patients requiring regular dental work, as well as those whose
non-urgent treatment has been delayed due to Coronavirus,
while Phase III, from January 2021, will see routine assessment and
care reinstated. In the meantime, anyone requiring urgent dental
treatment or assessment should contact their practice or call NHS 111.
is now possible to see your optician in Wales, but your visit may be
very different to how it was before COVID-19. You may be asked if a
phone or video consultation would be suitable instead
of a face-to-face appointment and, if you do attend the practice, you
might be phoned beforehand for staff to check for any symptoms or a high
an eye examination, your optician will be in PPE and you may also be
asked to wear a mask. Equipment and chairs will be disinfected between
each customer and you may be offered the option
of home delivery of new or repaired glasses.
untreated eye problems can lead to serious
while eye checks can detect health conditions such as diabetes. If you
have any concerns or think you need urgent attention, contact your
Wales Eye Care Services
for further advice.
practice physiotherapists are now able to offer face-to-face
appointments again, following guidance from the Chartered Society of
Physiotherapy. According to
Nathan Thomas of à Bloc Physiotherapy,
the first step is a virtual appointment to see if the client can
self-manage the issue. “If not, we then bring the client into the
clinic, with full PPE in and strict hygiene measures in place, such as a
deep clean of the bed and handles in between each client,”
he said. “Each clinic needs to have done a risk assessment of how to
enter and exit the facility, and provide hand sanitiser.”
it comes to NHS physio services, NHS Wales and local health boards are
currently reviewing which services will be resumed, signalling a change
from providing only urgent and essential services.
and outpatient services are beginning to return, but what you can
access will largely depend on the health board covering your area and
the condition you need treatment or advice for.
There’s no doubt that services for cancer, for example, have been
hugely disrupted by COVID-19 and it will take some time to work through
most important thing to remember is that primary and secondary care
services are open to offer advice ahead of potential hospital
appointments. You might be offered a phone or video consultation
rather than visiting in person, but GPs and community health teams are
available to chat about your concerns and refer you to specialist
services where necessary. While many patients have been avoiding clinics
during the pandemic, the message from Welsh Government
and the NHS is clear; seek advice as soon as possible for anything
that’s worrying you.
services have looked very different throughout Coronavirus and, for
many, it’s been a worrying and stressful time to be pregnant or become a
mum. Fathers and birthing partners in some
parts of Wales have not been able to attend scans and pre-natal
appointments or to be present throughout labour, with many hospitals and
centres inviting partners in only for the final stages of giving birth.
Partners have then been asked to leave soon after
are now changing but, again, services vary depending on your area and
your health board. Talk to your midwife or health visitor and flag up
any concerns you may be feeling about your pregnancy
global pandemic is continuing to impact on the mental health of
millions, with almost half the UK population (49.6%) reporting
high levels of anxiety
since the beginning of Coronavirus and the Office for National Statistics finding that
levels of depression have doubled
since this time last year.
Support services are available, both virtually and, where appropriate, face to face. Speak with your GP or contact your local Mind or Hafal branch to find out what services are available in your area. If you are very worried about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, contact Samaritans or emergency services. Our guide to looking after your mental health has tips on the small steps you can take to help prevent problems from escalating.
Plutus Health, we’ve been helping our communities access affordable
healthcare for more than 180 years. Our health plans help you keep on
top of everyday costs such as dental and optical needs,
complementary therapies and hospital fees, preventing minor health
issues from becoming major concerns.
Our plans start at just over £2 per week, with options to cover you, your family and your workplace. Get in touch with our team on 01633 266152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.