This week Manchester has seen the gradual re-opening of some non-essential shops and the return to work for those who can’t work from home. While health and social care have remained open during lockdown, albeit in a much more virtual way, the number of people accessing services has been relatively low. We hope that the easing of restrictions will now give Manchester residents the confidence to access health and care services when they need them.
Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director at MHCC said “While primary care has been open throughout lockdown, with consultations taking place virtually, we understand that people may have been anxious about making contact. The opening of most shops and other businesses in the coming days will signify the first steps towards a more normal Manchester. Hopefully, this will encourage those people who have put off making an appointment with their GP to get in touch.
I’d like to remind people that all initial assessments will be done via telephone, with if needed, a follow-up video call. Only if it’s deemed to be essential would we invite patients into practice for a face to face appointment. If you are asked to come in, we have gone above and beyond to ensure that practices are safe and follow all government guidelines”
MHCC Chief Accountable Officer, Ian Williamson, has also welcomed a slow and careful reopening of Manchester and said “It’s great that we are now in a position to be able to return to some level of normality. The gradual reopening of the city will be great not just for the economy but also for those people who have struggled with mental and physical health throughout lockdown. Health and care services across Manchester are open and remain committed to helping people through the pandemic and into and past the recovery period”
Ian has also given his backing to the city’s Welcome Back campaign which includes a special social media message to the people of Manchester, recognising how residents have looked after one another during the pandemic. The message showcases the city’s very own virtual Manchester hug; a safe and socially-distant way of showing the warmth that Mancunians are renowned for.
He said “The hug has been designed so that people can send it to one another with a message. We know that one of the most difficult parts of lockdown for many has been the feeling of isolation and loneliness and the hug is one of the many innovative ways that Manchester is helping to tackle those feelings. As more health and care services across the city begin to resume, we would encourage anyone struggling with mental or physical health to access them as soon as possible.
More details and the Manchester Hug animation can be found at www.welcomebackmanchester.com