The management of patients with chronic conditions is another essential part of general practice and in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was important to keep these often-vulnerable people isolated as much as possible; however, with widespread vaccination (particularly in the older age groups) this becomes less of a problem although there is still some risk of poorer long-term outcomes even with vaccination.
The management of this group becomes more of a logistics problem, particularly if the practice is not set up to easily separate red and green stream patients or there are a lot of acute patients needing to be seen.
Red traffic light (assume that these patients are all green stream)
Where it is safe, these patients can be managed virtually; however, it is important to remember that because of previous lockdowns many patients may have been managed virtually for a long period of time. The notes need to be checked carefully to ensure that these patients are not missing out on essential face-to-face care.
Orange and green traffic light
These patients should be managed in the normal way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.