I HAD just finished up another long day at the practice, fire-fighting alongside the other GPs, practice nurses and our incredible admin team. We were, as we are every day, feeling exhausted.

The workload remains high, the demands greater as we try to meet the needs of all our patients whilst keeping them safe in this pandemic, all with the winter pressures looming. Everything is that little bit more complex and that little bit more challenging. I do miss pre-Covid medicine.

The number of patient encounters we have daily, if anything, is higher in the “new normal” way of navigating around primary care. Previously patients could phone up and get a face-to-face appointment which could be several days down the line, but with remote access, patients get dealt with largely on the day if capacity allows for it.

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This is great as a patient but as we try to catch up on the past few months of missed routine reviews, whilst simultaneously tackling the acute care needs of our patients too, it is quite overwhelming as a clinician.

This is not me seeking any sympathy, for this is our job, but I want to take this opportunity to highlight that no GP in the country has been or is being lazy. We are working our socks off.

I sat in the car, running late for home as per usual, when I saw the news headlines come up on my screen. “Lazy GPs are using Covid-19 as an excuse to not see us,” said readers of a reputable broadsheet. This really wound me up!

This pandemic has hit every single person in a way they will never forget, but the people who have perhaps taken on the brunt of it have been the frontline workers who have not had a day’s respite as they have been called upon to do their duty. And they have risen to this. Even public holidays were cancelled this year. I watched my husband (also a GP) work more sessions, longer hours with his team to keep the public healthy throughout the hardest of times in lockdown.

Glasgow Times: We've all worked so hard during the pandemic We've all worked so hard during the pandemic

Frontline workers have made sacrifices which have impacted their own livelihoods to do their bit when duty has called – yet we hear that this wasn’t enough? The same people who cheered and clapped for the NHS are now slating the NHS – how quickly we rise and fall.

Walking through the practice waiting area these days is an eerie experience. After years of working in a busy practice, you become used to the busyness. You become accustomed to the looks you get from the patients who are unhappy that their GP is running late again.

You miss the buzz of the busy practice which now is a deserted space. Ahead of inviting a patient down for a face-to-face, there is much work that needs to be done. Dedicated rooms, which are kept ventilated all day, are thoroughly cleaned by the clinician before and after seeing the patient. Patient safety and care is forever paramount. The patient must be wearing their face covering and you are gowned up in your own PPE. From start to finish of examining a patient, whose history you have taken already during a triaging call, can take up to half an hour. We do this as often as clinically required for the patient.

On a typical day, I have up to 35 patient encounters. Every patient receives a phone call from their GP and we take a thorough history. If it is possible, we do a video consultation, and if that is not sufficient and the patient requires a physical examination, then they are designated a time to come in. I have been surprised, personally, by how much our patients are enjoying the remote way of working.

Patients are reporting quicker and more easily accessible GP appointments and we are collectively learning that there is a place for technology in medicine. Many patients are working and therefore grateful that they no longer need to take time off work.

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Those housebound or shielding are relieved that they can be managed from the comforts of their homes. The GP practice is very much open for service and has never been more accessible than it is just now.

So, I want you to know that GP teams are working really hard in a healthcare system that is very strained at present. With a second wave likely coming, coupled with the annual flu season, support, compassion and empathy for frontline workers is what will help us also keep faith and boost our morale so we can keep on going and not burn out. GPs are humans too.