Harrow GPs in level 5 COVID-19 response!

In GP workload prioritisation, Harrow is in the BMA defined  level 5 (highest) emergency response where all non-essential work stopped to allow general practice to cope with very significant demands relating to COVID-19, acute deterioration in long term conditions and new symptoms indicating potentially serious disease.
The text message from local GP practices on 1st January confirmed about a reduced range of general practice services in Harrow.
Since then, following is a summary of the feedback from some Harrow GPs:
‘It is true, most of the non urgent and community services have been suspended, this is because hospital staff have been redeployed to cover essential /urgent and Covid-19 units as well as there are a significant number staff members being ill.
Non Covid hospital services are adversely affected, for example, orthopaedic units and orthopaedic theatres are closed for non urgent work like hip replacement.
Hospitals (secondary care) stopped accepting referral from us a while back, anyhow, not only because of the pandemic but as hospital won’t have responsibility if something happens to patients while waiting for treatment. Also they don’t have waiting list any more, except the ones before the pandemic.
We can only refer patient who may have cancer, or very urgent, like chest pain’.
No matter how the NHS England performance is looked at, government approach ‘save money than lives’ to health care becomes obvious, as confirmed that while long-term under resourced NHS just coped  before pandemic but is now crumbling under Covid-19 pressure – lack of staff, equipment (even Oxygen masks), medical aids etc – ‘Imagine the scenes where you have to ration oxygen, have no staff and those that are there are exhausted’, a doctor on social media has summarised.
Harrow has total 11,819 cases to 4 Jan.