All Website dropdown

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Graphic - Coronavirus (COVID -19) We all must do it, to get through it. Stay Home. Keep distance. Wash hands.

Coronavirus – impact to health and social care services in Northern Ireland

As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a number of changes have been made to the way many health and social care services are delivered to meet social distancing regulations and to prevent the spread of infection. This includes GPs, community pharmacies, dentists and opticians.

General information on services:

GP services

The majority of GP surgeries are no longer accepting walk–in patients.  To help reduce the spread of infection, please:

Some GP surgeries are experiencing a high volume of calls, so you may need to be patient and wait for your call to be put through.

GP COVID Centres

These centres are staffed by GPs, nurses and other support staff to treat patients who have tested positive for or are suspected of having Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.  Patients have to be referred to these centres by their own GP or by GP Out of Hours.

Community Pharmacies

Like many other health services, community pharmacies are experiencing higher demand than usual for their services and are also required to comply with government guidance on social distancing.

Dental practices

Dental practices are particularly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most dental procedures are aerosol-generating, which means they release airborne particles which can result in the spread of infection.

All dental practices have been told to stop providing these procedures during the pandemic.  If you experience a dental problem , please:

If you have been tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms such as a high temperature and a new, continuous cough, and you need dental treatment, please call your dentist first.

Urgent Dental Care clinics

This service is for people with an urgent dental need such as significant oral swellings, dental trauma and uncontrolled bleeding following extraction. These clinics will also treat Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients and those patients who have no symptoms and need urgent dental care.

Patients must be referred by their dentist.  If you have an urgent or emergency dental problem:

In the video below your most frequently asked questions about dental services are answered by some of the clinical leads of the Urgent Dental Care Clinics.

Optometrists (Opticians)

Optometry practices are not currently providing routine eye examinations and have restricted opening days and hours but are continuing to provide urgent and essential eye care.

If you have any concerns about your eyes, including an urgent eye problem, or a query about your glasses or contact lenses, please telephone your optometry practice first.

Emergency Eyecare

If you have an emergency eye condition, such as severe injury, you should go directly and immediately to your local Accident and Emergency department .

Service updates within each Health and Social Care Trust

South Eastern
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service