A WINSFORD GP is reassuring the local community not to panic amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, a GP at Swanlow surgery, wants to allay fears.

"With everybody understandably very anxious about the current coronavirus, I thought a few words to try and reassure and bring hope were in order," he said.

"Let us first remember that most people who catch the virus have a mild illness requiring no treatment and the vast majority will make a full recovery.

"I have worked in the NHS for over 25 years and I have before never seen the scale of change and preparation that we are making to deal with this virus.

"Changes that would normally take months or years have taken days. We are as prepared as we could be both in general practice and at the local hospital. The NHS is working hard to help you if you should need it."

Although patients might feel it is harder to see your GP now than before, he said this is only to ensure that we can see you if you really need it, you will be treated in a way that keeps you safe.

Dr Griffiths said: "All the people I know in the NHS are working longer hours, GPs, pharmacists, occupational therapists, consultants, managers and nurses. People are working really hard for you.

Winsford Guardian:

Dr Jonathan Griffiths says the NHS is working hard to keep everyone safe

"There is clear guidance that will help. It is easy to follow and understand and it will make a difference if you stick by it. "

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He commended the creative ways people are striving to stay positive, such as delivering chocolate bars to everyone on their street.

Some children are painting pictures of rainbows and putting them in their windows for others to spot to spread hope.

People are getting to know some of their neighbours for the first time as they make themselves available to help one another.

Communities are responding and coming together, looking after the most vulnerable. This has been heart-warming to see, he said, and long may it continue.

Businesses are responding, moving to delivery services and flexing their approach to continue to serve the community. Large supermarket chains are altering opening hours while local fresh vegetable stall holders are travelling round communities.

People are finding new and ways of keeping in touch with friends and family.

New technology is bringing people together through group chats and video conferencing.

Churches are live-streaming services.

People are going back to writing letters and postcards.

Dr Griffiths added: "People are pulling together. We can all play our part, and together we are stronger. To make a difference all you need to do is follow the guidance – make social distancing the norm.

"We need to make sure we do not panic, that we retain perspective and that we do all that we can for the most vulnerable members of our society.

For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance