Covid-19 Community Assessment Hubs are now up and running in Tayside providing patients with a straightforward route to clinical advice and support for those with ongoing COVID-19 symptoms.
The assessment hubs in Kings Cross in Dundee and Perth Royal Infirmary are already operational, with hubs in Angus expected to launch in the coming days. The hubs will provide patients with a dedicated route to clinical advice and support, as well as freeing up GP practices to treat and care for all non-other health conditions.
The new pathway for patients is:
• Patients should phone NHS24 on 111 if their symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days.
• Callers to the 111 helpline will be assessed and, if necessary, transferred to a local community hub staffed by clinicians from across Tayside to ensure patients get the best possible advice at the right time.
• Depending on their assessment, patients may be given advice to help them continue self-isolating at home or be given an appointment to attend a local assessment centre for further treatment.
• These patients who are asked to attend the assessment hub will drive into a covered area to be examined and assessed in their car by a clinician. The clinician will be wearing a mask, apron and gloves (personal protective equipment or PPE) as a precaution.
Following assessment, patients will be given the most appropriate advice and, if required, treatment.
Dr Jane Bruce, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care Services with NHS Tayside said, “It is important that people follow the guidance and only attend the centres if they have been given an appointment through NHS24. These are not walk in centres and no patient testing is taking place. Contacting NHS24 will ensure you get the quickest access to the safest care.
“These assessment centres will play a vital role by taking pressure off our very busy GPs to allow them to focus on everyday problems in their surgeries that are not COVID-19 related.
“Patients should be reassured that we are working closely with our colleagues in secondary care to ensure that everyone gets the care and treatment they need.
“I am extremely proud of the team work In Tayside that has allowed these assessment centres to be set up in just nine days. I would like to thank all the staff involved in making this happen so quickly and efficiently.”
• NHS Inform’s coronavirus webpage is still the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information. There is also a free NHS 24 helpline for people without symptoms looking for general information on coronavirus.
• For patients who do not have any coronavirus symptoms, they should continue to telephone their GP when open and not call NHS 24.
• In the out-of-hours period, when displaying symptoms other than coronavirus, you should only call 111 if you need urgent assessment and cannot wait until your GP is open.
• Kings Cross will continue to operate as the out-of-hours medical hub for Dundee with separate tents set up for patients with non-COVID-19 related issues to be dealt with. Clinicians in masks, gloves and gowns will examine and treat out of hours patients in their cars as a precaution.
• A question and answer document is available on NHS Tayside’s website with more information about the assessment centres and how they will operate – https://tinyurl.com/rq2g4xj