A Seven Kings GP has closed its doors to the public as measures to stop the spread of coronavirus are ramped up.

Patients at Oak Tree Medical Centre in Seven Kings have today been told they must conduct consultations online or over the phone.

A sign posted on the medical’s centre door said: “Oaktree Medical Practice will follow NHS England guidelines and offer only telephone consultations and on-line consultations.”

Patients who turned up to the practice this morning claim they were not advised by text or email as to the closure.

Patient Keith Clayton had a major operation on February 10 to have part of his bowel removed and now has a stoma bag.

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Mr Clayton has been a patient at Oak Tree Medical Centre for 26 years. Photo: Wilson Chowdhry

The 51-year-old was upset to find the centre closed, having been advised at Whipps Cross hospital yesterday to pick up medication to balance the contents of his stomach.

He said: “I have been blacking out. I suffer from diabetes and I have been passing out if my blood sugar level is too low. I have been instructed to come here today and I am dismayed and shocked that they are not open.

Chigwell resident Juliet Chowdhry was also shocked to find the centre closed. She had arrived to pick up medicine for her brother, but instead had to post a prescription request through the door and told to wait up to 48 hours.

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Patients communicated with staff through a window. Photo: Wilson Chowdhry

Her husband, Wilson Chowdhry, said: “Her brother is out of medicine, at the moment if it is that long of a wait, we may have to put him in hospital and of course hospitals are going to start filling up with the current situation.

“There are loads of patients outside Oaktree and they are all very upset about the closure. They are having to speak to the staff through a window. Nobody was warned about this.”

In a letter sent to GPs last week outlining NHS England’s COVID-19 guidelines, Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS’s medical director for primary care said: “To mitigate any risk that potentially infected patients book appointments online and attend the practice when they should be receiving advice to self-isolate or go through testing, all practices are now being advised to change face-to-face appointments booked online to triage appointments via telephone or video.”

NHS London has been contacted for comment.

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