Nationally a network of new primary care Covid-19 centres is being rapidly established to manage the growth of coronavirus cases in the community.
As part of Lewisham’s Covid-19 Emergency Response two community treatment centres or ‘hot’ hubs in the south of the borough at Marvels Lane Surgery (37 Marvel Lane, SE12 9PN) and the north of the borough at the Waldron Centre (Amersham Vale, London SE14 6LD) are being opened.
Primary care services have already moved to a telephone triage model. This next step will consolidate services in hot and cold sites to help manage the expected high numbers requiring Covid care and any associated respiratory issues.
These centres or ‘hot’ hubs will provide care for patients who are very unwell, are suspected of having Covid-19 and require medical attention. They will offer additional support to secondary care and alleviate pressure at local hospital sites.
The hot hubs will be open from 10am-8pm, 7 days a week; patients will be seen at the hub on the same day after contacting their GP/111 if they need a face to face appointment and patients will either transport themselves or potentially arrive by taxi (SEL working on a scheme with the LTDA). All staff working at a hot hub will be in full PPE.
On arrival at the hub patients will be greeted by a security guard to confirm that they have an appointment, once confirmed they will then be booked in by the receptionist and given full PPE which includes glasses, mask, gloves and shoe covers. They will then be asked to sit in the waiting area in a ‘clean bay’ where they will have privacy from others.
Initially a nurse will conduct observations and enter the results onto the clinical system for a GP to review. Patients will then be directed to the GP consulting room and once the patient has been assessed by a GP there are 3 probable outcomes:
Mild symptoms – patient sent home.
Moderate symptoms – patient sent home with potential prescription and needs follow-up at their practice.
Severe symptoms – patient moved into holding area before being conveyed to hospital (estimated 10% of all patients seen).
The Marvels Lane hub is expected to start operating on Tuesday 7 April with the Waldron Centre hub expected to start towards the end of next week.
When both clinics are up and running they will endeavour to offer patient choice where appropriate, however the priority will be ensuring that patients are seen quickly.