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Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.

Doctor isolating due to go household contact with covid

28 replies

OctopusDance · 10/07/2022 14:24

I got a phone call last week from my surgery. My GP appointment was cancelled and they could not rearrange it yet due to severe staff shortage. It turns out it was because the GP's wife had covid so he was not allowed into work. I was really surprised. Not saying it is not morally right, it is obviously ideal world what we would all do, just that I thought we had realised this isolating is not sustainable for businesses etc. I don't know any other workplace (unless WFH possible) telling workers not to come in if they are a close contact anymore.

I get doctors have close contact with the vulnerable but you would think a line has to be drawn somewhere? I am usually defensive of my surgery/the NHS but this really does seem to reinforce that general feeling things are backwards and there seems to always be excuses with GP surgeries now.

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Isaidnoalready · 10/07/2022 14:26

I'm assuming they have risk assessed the situation and decided that they would rather not take a chance with someone else's life?

Do they not have him doing phone consultation though?

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MissAtomicBomb1 · 10/07/2022 14:26

I would agree with you if it was most occupations/workplaces but as you pointed out he's a doctor and will be mostly coming into contact with elderly/vulnerable people so surely better to be safe than sorry in this particular scenario.

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RidingMyBike · 10/07/2022 14:29

Seriously?! You're querying the GP not coming into work because his wife was ill with Covid? Instead of being grateful he was acting responsibly?! If he'd come in and also got it then he could easily have infected the other practice staff, vulnerable patients etc thus leading to a lot more cancelled appointments and even more pressure on the NHS. It's a shame he couldn't do telephone/video appts from home but maybe they're not set up for that at short notice.

My work is asking people to WFH if they have it, or someone in the household does, and to take an LFT before attending large in-person meetings or travelling for work.

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TeapotTitties · 10/07/2022 14:35

I get doctors have close contact with the vulnerable

Nah you really don't.

This is about staff shortages, not a GP isolating. Anyway, it's only face to face appointments he won't be able to do.

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Powerpotpie · 10/07/2022 14:40

I get doctors have close contact with the vulnerable but you would think a line has to be drawn somewhere? I am usually defensive of my surgery/the NHS but this really does seem to reinforce that general feeling things are backwards and there seems to always be excuses with GP surgeries now.

So it’s ok to our people like me at risk is it OP? Middle aged woman, mum, normal life, suddenly struck down with incredibly rare autoimmune disease that destroys my muscles, joints and lungs with the only treatment being drugs given to transplant patients and high dose steroids, which means my immune system is wiped and no immune response to vaccination. Do you know how difficult it is trying to lead a normal life still whilst balancing the heightened risk of covid? Of course I want to know when I visit my GP that I am safe within reason and I’m pleased to hear that your surgery still takes the risk to vulnerable patients seriously.

I get it that people are fed up with covid and the restrictions, I am too and the fear that goes with it, But I am also tired of reading posts like this where vulnerable patients are just deemed an inconvenience.

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2bazookas · 10/07/2022 14:40

Covid Isolation rules still apply to health workers here (Scotland).

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itsgettingweird · 10/07/2022 14:41

I work in a school.

We are 5 days off from day of positive test.

Pupils are 3.

Lots of places will have their own risk assessments.

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itsgettingweird · 10/07/2022 14:42

Although we don't isolate as close contact.

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MissLucyEyelesbarrow · 10/07/2022 14:44

If he infects his colleagues at the Practice, you will be much more inconvenienced, OP.

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Mybeautifulfriend22 · 10/07/2022 14:45

In the NHS as in hospitals we can go in when our partners/family members are positive now we are just asked to test twice weekly. That’s the official line anyway from our lovely government😵

Also covid leave was cancelled last week for NHS staff which means it affects sick records/pay as now off sick as counted as normal sickness. This will mean staff going to work positive/not testing if they are concerned about their sickness being flagged up and going to panel/losing their job.

GPs may be following their own rules. But to be fair they are being cautious as I caught it from my partner at home.

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NeedAHoliday2021 · 10/07/2022 14:47

I’m in N a hospital and if we have a positive household member we have to do daily testing but still come to work (Although there is a risk assessment too for high risk patients).

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NeedAHoliday2021 · 10/07/2022 14:49

@Mybeautifulfriend22 many hospitals haven’t officially acted on that yet so covid leave still continuing where I am. We have such high numbers we don’t want positives coming to work because they can’t afford not to. Exec team has delayed the removal of covid pay.

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Mamansparkles · 10/07/2022 14:49

Makes sense, health service have to be much stricter as they deal, by definition, with vulnerable people. How would hospitals cope if a GP infected 20 vulnerable people all in one day, all of whom have a high chance of needing hospital care or enhanced community care?
He could also infect colleagues meaning a further shortage of GPs.
Such a relief to hear there is this much common sense within the health service still.
The ideal solution would be that he picks up a colleague's phone appointments/admin and they pick up his face to face appointments but that doesn't always work if there aren't enough staff in the first place.

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RagzRebooted · 10/07/2022 14:51

I work in a GP surgery and we still have to go in when households have covid, just daily LTFs.
We haven't been told they've cancelled covid leave though, but this may well come in soon.
I'm yet to have covid, so I'll be really annoyed if I catch it after they change the rules!

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ShipwreckSunset · 10/07/2022 14:53

Would hope and expect that he is working doing things other than non face to face appts. Could they not offer you a telephone appt OP?

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SummersBreeze · 10/07/2022 15:00

Don't kid yourselfs that medical professionals care for others because some don't. I am currently positive with covid and sick with symptoms and my employer who is a medical professional couldn't even wait for the infection to pass and for sickness to clear from me before ordering me back into work yesterday and today. I'm currently in work sick but noone cares. Please don't kid yourselfs that medical professionals care about others but some of them don't.

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SummersBreeze · 10/07/2022 15:03

I'm still showing strong positive lines on lfts but according to my employer I'm well enough for work.

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Youaremysunshine14 · 10/07/2022 15:03

You think a GP not wanting to sit opposite vulnerable patients when they might well have been exposed to Covid is an excuse not to do their job? FFS. The GP is doing the right thing. You posting here questioning their professionalism is not.

You cannot compare being a doctor in a pandemic – yes, it is still a pandemic, it hasn't gone away – to other jobs.

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passport123 · 10/07/2022 15:04

Has it not occurred to you that his wife might be seriously ill but he rightly feels that it's none of patients' business to know that?

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Frenzi · 10/07/2022 15:15

Different GP practices will have different policies. I work at a GP practice and usually, if we have a positive then we have to isolate until we get a negative or for 5 days, whichever is the longest. Usually if our partners have covid we can still go in if we have a negative test.

However, the latest strain of covid doesn't seem to be showing up straight away. I recently felt slightly unwell, did a negative test so went in. The next day still didn't feel right but again a negative test so went in. Felt worse by the time I got home and had a positive test. Four days later 14 members of staff were off with covid (clinical and admin) - it caused an absolute nightmare for our remaining staff and patients. The remaining staff got the usual abuse when we had to cancel appointments due to covid. Covid may have gone away in the rest of the UK but its still here in the health service.

My husband and daughter were expected to go to work if they felt well, even if they were positive. But neither of them work in healthcare and therefore are not knowingly coming into contact with vulnerable people - and also its up to their employers what their policy is.

Our policy has now been changed so that we have to stay at home if our partner is positive so that we don't spread it through the surgery and bring chaos again.

With regards to working from home - some of our GP's do, some don't. It generally depends on whether or not they have been set up for home working on the system we use.

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Mybeautifulfriend22 · 10/07/2022 15:16

NeedAHoliday2021 · 10/07/2022 14:49

@Mybeautifulfriend22 many hospitals haven’t officially acted on that yet so covid leave still continuing where I am. We have such high numbers we don’t want positives coming to work because they can’t afford not to. Exec team has delayed the removal of covid pay.

This is sensible. Our cases our high but the trust hasn’t actually said what they are doing regarding leave!

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Frenzi · 10/07/2022 15:20

Mybeautifulfriend22 · 10/07/2022 15:16

This is sensible. Our cases our high but the trust hasn’t actually said what they are doing regarding leave!

Our practice are still paying us covid leave - even if we are negative - because they have asked us to isolate.

I suppose its different with GP surgeries as they are private business's and therefore can set their own rules around certain things.

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TabithaTittlemouse · 10/07/2022 15:23

How do you know this? Did the surgery tell you?
That is what I would be surprised at.

Maybe his wife is really unwell?

We are still having to isolate due to the type of patients. Still paid. Sorry!

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nether · 10/07/2022 15:28

Well, cancer care will never recover if we can't have medical settings which are safe for those undergoing treatment.

I think people are way to careless with the lives of others.

Even if you want a free-for-all elsewhere, surely people can see that medical settings need to be different?

Especially as this lousy government won't fund Evushield - meaning that 500,000 people are still shielding, and nearly all those with new cancer diagnoses need to join them during certain phases of treatment and weeks afterwards as their immune system recovers.

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Frenzi · 10/07/2022 15:30

TabithaTittlemouse · 10/07/2022 15:23

How do you know this? Did the surgery tell you?
That is what I would be surprised at.

Maybe his wife is really unwell?

We are still having to isolate due to the type of patients. Still paid. Sorry!

That is bad if the surgery actually told you why he wasn't in. If an appointment is being cancelled for personal reasons of the clinician then it isn't the patients business to know what the problem is. We would be bollocked if we told a patient something that personal!

When we are ringing round cancelling appointments we just tell patients that we have had an outbreak of covid within the building and unfortunately are having to rearrange non urgent appointments.

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