GP surgeries in south Warwickshire move to cope with coronavirus crisis - The Leamington Observer

GP surgeries in south Warwickshire move to cope with coronavirus crisis

Leamington Editorial 13th Mar, 2020 Updated: 16th Mar, 2020   0

GP surgeries across south Warwickshire are changing the way they work to cope with the coronavirus outbreak – with some cancelling all non-urgent appointments.

Abbey Medical Centre in Kenilworth and Chase Meadow Health Centre in Warwick have cancelled all routine appointments to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and cope with the additional workload. Hastings House in Wellesbourne is contacting all patients to see whether their appointment is essential, if so it will be held over the phone.

Many other surgeries are conducting appointments over the phone or video call.

It comes after government upgraded its response to the global pandemic from the ‘containment’ to the ‘delay’ stage. This means they want to delay the peak of what is regarded to be the virus’ inevitable spread across communities.

Almost all surgeries are using social media accounts to inform patients of the latest advice in a bid to limit the spread of the disease, which includes staying at home for seven days if you have a high temperature or a new continuous cough and not attending a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

A spokesperson from Chase Meadow Health Centre said: “To reduce spread of COVID-19 we have cancelled all pre booked appointments and blood tests.

“We appreciate the disruption this may cause to some but please be patient with our staff as we provide you with the safest clinical care.”

A spokesman from Abbey Medical Centre said the measures are to protect staff and patients.

He told The Observer: “Abbey Medical Centre is triaging patients over the telephone and asking patients to come in for face to face appointments where they are deemed necessary. This is to help prevent the spread of infection and protect patients and staff. Patients calling about potential coronavirus symptoms are being directed self-isolate as per the national guidance.”

And a spokesperson from Hastings House Medical Centre said: “We have made the decision that from March 16 we are going temporarily suspend all pre-bookable routine appointments.

“The risk to the general public at this time is moderate.

“Thank you for your understanding and continued support.”

Waterside Medical Centre in Leamington will be taking appointments over the phone.

A spokesperson said: “The practice will be triaging all requests for appointments as previously advised. We are not closed and we are working just as hard as usual, just in a different way.

“We are trying to strike a balance between not panicking but not being complacent. Please understand our reception staff are currently under a lot of pressure. Thank you for your patience and support as we work to keep you safe and well.”

Following an emergency Cobra meeting government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said 590 cases of coronavirus had been identified but the true number was much higher and could be up to 10,000.

Testing will now only focus on identifying people with the virus in hospital.

People with symptoms are also no longer required to call NHS 111, as the system is under strain, but are instead urged to look for information on the NHS website or 111 online.

The latest figures show four cases have been confirmed in Warwickshire to date and three in Coventry.

A patient who was being treated in Nuneaton died from the virus, along with another in Dudley, taking the number of lives claimed to the illness in the UK to ten. Both were elderly and had underlying health conditions.

Symptoms include fever and a cough which can lead to severe pneumonia and breathing difficulties in older people and those with weakened immune systems.

Visit for further information or if you have symptoms of coronavirus.


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