NHS setting up new Coronavirus clinics

The NHS is setting up special GP-run clinics across North West  London for patients with symptoms of Covid-19. The plan is for there to be a nurse and a doctor, staffed by a rota from local GP surgeries, where people with Coronavirus symptoms can go to be treated.

The location of the clinic serving Chiswick has not yet been confirmed. Plans to make the Wellesley Rd practice the Covid-19 centre were discussed and dismissed. The Holly Rd practice was also considered.

A statement issued by the North West London health and care partnership on 1 April says:

‘The eight Clinical Commissioning Groups in North West London are establishing a joint primary care response to COVID-19. This will include patients being managed both face to face and remotely by GPs. Face to face appointments and support will require dedicated clinics which we are establishing in each borough. If patients have symptoms GPs and 111 will be able to refer patients to these clinics for an appointment when it is required’.

An earlier bullietin on 23 March said:

‘We are setting up special GP-run clinics in Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster for patients who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and need to see a doctor. Doctors from the local NHS will staff these clinics. More information about these clinics will be available very soon’.

GP Surgeries

Those eight London boroughs all come under the umbrella of North West London in a ‘collaboration’ of Clinical Commissioning Groups.

‘Temporary changes are being made to NHS services, to help us deal with the coronavirus pandemic’ they say. They advise checking with the local service you are planning to use, ‘to see if any further changes have been made’ before trying to use them.

GP practices are focused on helping their patients who have COVID-19 and are not operating normally, but are all open 8.00am-6.30pm. They are helping as many people as possible over the phone, only seeing urgent cases face to face.

If you think you have covid-19 symptoms, you should always use the 111 online service for advice. If you cannot get online, telephone 111. Do not go to your GP surgery as this may lead to the virus spreading further, including to practice staff. If you need a GP appointment about another matter, you should stay at home and ring the practice in the first instance.

Hospitals

Hospitals are focused on treating people who have COVID-19. The statement from North West London health and care partnership continues:

‘Do not go to hospital if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms. You should always use the 111 online service for advice. If you cannot get online, telephone 111. You should only call an ambulance in what you think is a life-threatening situation.

‘Operations and surgery that are not clinically urgent or emergencies are being delayed as we need our doctors and nurses to focus on dealing with the pandemic. We are sorry we have delayed treatment and hope to return to business as usual as soon as possible.

‘Our hospitals have dedicated areas for treating covid-19 patients, to keep them separate from other patients. The hospitals are working closely together so that if one hospital has a high number of cases, patients needing a bed may be transferred to another local hospital.

‘Hospital visiting has had to be restricted to one person per patient and visiting hours have been reduced.

Emergency care for patients who do not have COVID-19 symptoms

Emergency care for patients whose condition is serious but not related to COVID-19 will continue as normal. In a life threatening l emergency, you should call 999 as usual.

Outpatients

During this period, we will not be offering outpatient appointments except in the most urgent cases. The hospital will contact patients and some follow-up appointments may be by telephone.