Living Well North Tyneside partners Healthwatch, Tynehealth and North Tyneside CCG have shared a brilliant resource to help local communities understand why GP practices work the way they do, and why things may have changed due to Covid-19.

Why are GP practices working differently? 

It’s still a challenging time and to help protect everyone we are required to continue to maintain safe infection control and minimise unnecessary physical contact. GP practices are working hard to provide more appointments than ever before as well as delivering essential vaccinations. 

Why do receptionists ask personal questions?

GP reception staff are a vital part of our healthcare team. By asking you questions they can help direct you to the best support. They are skilled in assisting with triage and treat all information in confidence. We ask everyone to please respect our reception team – abuse of any kind is not acceptable.

What is triage?

A trained health professional assesses your needs to decide how best to support you, they will consider

• who could be best to help you - a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional

• what kind of appointment is best - to be seen in person or a phone or video consultation

• whether help from another health service is more appropriate for example pharmacy, urgent treatment centre etc.

Why am I seeing someone who is not my GP?

Many GP practice teams include different healthcare professionals e.g. nurses, physios, pharmacists and mental health workers. They can diagnose and treat a range of health conditions. This ensures that you can see the best person for your needs more quickly.

What about emergencies?

Always dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency. If you need help with minor injuries at any time or urgent care when your GP practice or community pharmacy is closed, visit or call 111.

Help us to help you

Health services continue to be under pressure and we know at times it’s difficult for us all. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support, so please continue to help by 

• wearing a face mask in all healthcare settings

• washing/sanitising your hands

• not coming into a healthcare setting if you have Covid-19 or norovirus symptoms

• being kind and patient with practice staff

• being open to use our services a bit differently


With thanks to North Tyneside CCG, Healthwatch and Tynehealth

Photo by Negative Space at Pexels

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