Normally, our joint waiting rooms are bustling — with around 100 patients at any one time waiting to see doctors, nurses, or a phlebotomist to take blood. Now there are no patients and just a handful of staff.
There have been just a few patients with Covid in the hospital in the last few weeks, compared with 20 in intensive care and 100 on the wards at the peak of the pandemic.
But we are at a near standstill when it comes to seeing outpatients on site. Much to my frustration, only one of my six NHS rheumatology clinics is conducted face-to-face each week. It is still deemed too risky for patients to attend hospital.
There doesn’t seem to be a master plan or encouragement from the Department of Health to get clinics up and running again — this is needed urgently