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UK MP diagnosed with coronavirus as British GPs warn routine health checks could be halted

Nadine Dorries said that as soon as she was informed she took all the advised precautions and has been self-isolating at home.

Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries
Image: PA Images

Updated Mar 10th 2020, 10:45 PM

UK HEALTH MINISTER Nadine Dorries has confirmed she has tested positive for coronavirus, BBC has reported. 

In a statement, Dorries, who is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said that as soon as she was informed she took all the advised precautions and has been self-isolating at home.

“Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice,” Dorries told BBC. 

She thanked the NHS staff who had provided her with advice and support.

The news comes after the British Medical Association said routine health checks by GPs may need to be halted to “focus on the sickest patients” amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Richard Vautrey, chairman of the BMA GPs committee, told the BBC cases of Covid-19 are anticipated to “rise rapidly” in the coming weeks.

This could lead to increased waiting times for patients with mild health conditions and is “likely to continue for at least a few weeks, if not months,” he warned.

“We will need to stop doing much of the routine work that we do week-by-week to enable us to focus on the sickest patients and prioritise those who most need us,” Dr Vautrey said.

“Practices that are routinely doing routine health checks, assessing blood pressure, diabetic control, and long-term problems with heart and lung disease – those routine checks will need to stop.”

Dr Vautrey said GPs will need to prioritise not only those with potential coronavirus, but also the “sickest patients” who need continuous care.

He said: “It does mean that some patients may have to wait longer than normal to see their GP.

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“It’s likely to continue for at least a few weeks, if not months. And it’s quite possible that there will be more than one wave of infection.”

It comes after three-quarters of 402 GPs surveyed by GPonline said routine appointments should be suspended in the event of a widespread coronavirus outbreak.

One in 5 thought this should happen now, in the survey published on Monday.

Professor Martin Marshall told Londonwide LMCs conference today that he had been inundated with emails from GPs concerned about a lack of information.

Last week, NHS England issued guidance to GPs which said hundreds of protective kits, including aprons, examination gloves and face masks, would soon be issued to every practice.

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