We are approaching 2 years since the Covid 19 pandemic started. Delays in routine healthcare have been highly publicised, whether a consequence of Covid restrictions or patient behaviours, with individuals avoiding medical care due to Covid 19 concerns. 

In my opinion, these delays are further compounded by the lack of face-to-face consultations and a drive towards online assessments. 

It is becoming clearer, that Covid 19 is here to stay for years to come, and in this new normal, it is important that we do not postpone the management of our health. Avoiding or overlooking regular checks and screenings can have significant negative consequences. 

The questions you should be asking yourself, irrespective of your age, are:

  • Have you had a routine general check up in the last 3 years?
  • Has your weight increased? 
  • Is your breathing not as good as it used to?
  • Do you have persistent indigestion that requires or not medication?
  • Do you experience chest tightness? Memory issues? Leg swelling?
  • Do you take regular medications but have not had a medical review in the last 6-12 months?
  • Do you have a chronic condition, but have not seen a doctor in the last 6-12 months?
  • Do you require regular blood test monitoring, but these have not taken place as it should have?
  • Do you have a niggle, a pain, a change in your usual bodily habits that sits at the back of your mind, or you are trying to dismiss? Whether is periods, bloating, bowels, passing urine?
  • Are you worrying about any aspects of your physical health or that of a close one?
  • Are you or someone close to you struggling to cope? Do you or a close one feel anxious, sleepless, low or suicidal?
  • Do you or someone close to you, drink more alcohol that you should? 

The list can carry on. If the answer to any of the above is yes, my advice is – you should see a doctor. Although many of us have been encouraged to seek and assess our symptoms online before calling a doctor, have had a telephone or online consultation perhaps, nothing replaces a face-to-face consultation. 

Having various access points to medical professionals (telephone, online, instant messaging, in person consultations) is important as it keeps accessibility flexible and focused on your needs. If you were to have same doctor, someone who knows you, someone you trust, someone who has provided you with continuity and regular check-ups, then Yes, this flexibility works and delivers. It may also work and deliver for a quick and minor health needs. 

But most of the health issues I have encountered in my career, are due to the lack of continuity, the pressure on times, the lack of ownership of someone’s health assessment and planning. We get snippets of help, from different angles, by different practitioners, often with time and / or knowledge limitations attached. 

Multiple medical practitioners can create a chaotic personal patient environment, from understanding one’s health, unnecessary investigations, sometimes missing significant conditions and unnecessary treatments.

As an advocate for a traditional patient – doctor relationship that means Trust, Continuity, Partnership, Choice and Accessibility, at ROC we maintain a Covid 19 safe environment to enable patients like you be reassured that the pandemic shall not prevent you managing your health. With all patients offered testing for Covid 19 upon entry into our clinic, with staff being continually screened for Covid 19, the worry is minimised, and our evidence shows that it works. We have had zero patient – staff and staff – patient Covid 19 transmission to date. 

ROC will be able to provide you with the continuity of care we all deserve but also with the access to multiple top specialists whether practising within ROC or as part of our UK wide referral network. 

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