Latest COVID-19 guidance

The COVID-19 outbreak is arguably one of the greatest public health challenges of our time – not least for general practice, where over one million patients are already treated every day.

The College is closely monitoring the situation and developing practical resources and support for GPs and their teams. We hope you will find this page and its resources useful in your day to day work and for keeping yourselves, your families and your patients as safe as you possibly can over the coming difficult weeks and months.

Latest advice

Every attempt will be taken to keep this advice current but please continue to refer to the latest advice in your area.

England

Latest advice for GPs in England

For members in England, NHS England has set up a PPE supply and distribution helpline. 

Are you experiencing PPE shortages?

Tel: 0800 915 9964 or 0191 283 6543. 

Email: supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

This service is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Public Health England

NHS England

Department of Health and Social Care

  • Guidance on NHS test and trace: how it works, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Scotland

Latest guidance for GPs in Scotland

Wales

Latest guidance for GPs in Wales

General practice post-Covid

Our report General Practice in the post-Covid world (295 KB PDF) has highlighted emerging evidence that suggests that patients who have recovered from the virus have experienced a range of health problems, including chronic fatigue, ongoing respiratory difficulties and mental health problems. These patients will now be managed in primary care which needs to be supported to effectively ensure high-quality patient care.

Find out more and sign up to the campaign online.

RCGP guidance

Guidance on delivering mass vaccinations during COVID-19

Download the guidance on Delivering Mass Vaccinations During COVID-19: A Logistical Guide for General Practice (PDF 705 KB), 30 July 2020.

Guidance for Remote Verification of Expected Death (VoED) out of hospital

During the COVID-19 pandemic the processes in relation to death registration and management across the UK have been changing to ensure the deceased are treated with the utmost respect, to help minimise delays and distress for bereaved families and to protect public health. In these extraordinary times, there is a need for various groups of workers to work differently and together as one system.

This is why, in collaboration with the BMA, we have produced guidance for the verification of expected death with the remote assistance of other workers so that the verification process can be completed by a clinician safely, ensuring that bereaved families do not experience needless delays, reducing the risk of unnecessary exposure to the virus and allowing clinicians to continue on the front line.

Download the Guidance for Remote Verification of Expected Death (82 KB PDF), 21 April 2020.

Workload prioritisation during COVID-19

Download the Guidance on workload prioritisation during COVID-19 – pandemic level reducing (434 KB PDF), BMA and RCGP, 12 June 2020.

Download COVID-19 Response Levels - Workload Prioritisation for Primary Care (445 KB PDF), BMA and RCGP, 12 June 2020.

Learn how to set priorities in general practice in the RCGP Guidance on workload prioritisation during COVID-19 (273 KB PDF), 10 April 2020. 

Ethical dimensions of COVID-19 for front-line staff

RCGP has produced Ethical Guidance on COVID-19 and Primary Care which is available on the COVID-19 resource hub.

The Royal College of Physicians has published (31 March) ethical guidance for frontline staff dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by more than a dozen other health organisations including RCGP.   

Royal College of General Practitioners Ethical Guidance on COVID-19 and Primary Care.

Royal College of Physicians Ethical Guidance for frontline staff dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, 31 March 2020

GP returners

Thousands of GPs have responded to the call to return to general practice during the COVID-19 crisis and we are very grateful to you.

Please read the letter that we have written in partnership with the BMA (133 KB PDF) for those of you who have re-licensed but may still be waiting to hear how your help will be deployed.

You can also access our resources on Returners and read a blog post from College President Amanda Howe on the important contribution of late career and retired GPs. 

Masks and face coverings

Download the Guidance on masks and face coverings in primary care (298 KB PDF), RCGP, 31 July 2020. 

Medical students in response to COVID-19

This resource acts as a guide to practices considering supplementing their workforce (e.g. use of medical students) in response to COVID-19. This document offers guidance, examples and best practice to suit the needs of your local circumstances.

Download Recruitment and implementation of medical students in response to COVID-19 (759 KB PDF). Last updated 8 April 2020.


Contact us

RCGP members can email our dedicated COVID-19 inbox with feedback and questions.

Please keep your questions coming as they're also helping us populate our COVID-19 FAQs. We have convened a group of GP experts on emergency preparedness to answer these and are also bringing together helpful material from elsewhere to make this the 'go to' resource for GPs.

If your practice has experienced any difficulties in implementing the current guidance or protocols, please let us know so we can provide feedback to the relevant authorities.

Email: COVID19@rcgp.org.uk


RCGP online resource hub

The COVID-19 Resource Hub has been created to support GPs in understanding and managing this pandemic, with topics ranging from diagnosis to keeping your practice safe. This hub will be updated daily with the latest developments and guidance.

The resource hub includes:

Top tips

Key information for GPs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Remote consultation and triaging

Advice on adapting to changing consultation formats, including best practice for online and telephone triage appointments.

General clinical management

Essential information for GPs about COVID-19, from symptoms and diagnosis to protecting practice staff.

Specific clinical management

Managing COVID-19 alongside specific clinical conditions.

Maintaining and restoring general practice services

Advice on adjusting to changes in your practice due to COVID-19, including keeping on top of routine care.

End of life care

Guidance on dealing with palliative and end of life care, and supporting carers throughout the pandemic.

Specific patient groups and settings 

Information on dealing with specific patient groups throughout the COVID-19 period.

Safeguarding and vulnerable groups

Advice on safeguarding vulnerable patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, including shielding those in high-risk groups.

GP wellbeing

Support for GPs during this challenging time, including wellbeing, resilience and mental health resources

Ethics and challenging conversations

Guidance to support GPs with making challenging decisions during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Health inequalities

Information about health equity and caring for socially vulnerable patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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