Coronavirus assessment centre opened for ‘targeted’ cases

PUBLISHED: 10:32 07 April 2020

Dr Barry Coakley, clinical director for the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh Primary Care Network outside the new Covid-19 assessment centre. Picture: Barry Coakley

Dr Barry Coakley, clinical director for the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh Primary Care Network outside the new Covid-19 assessment centre. Picture: Barry Coakley

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GP practices in Exmouth, Woodbury and Budleigh Salterton have teamed up to provide a coronavirus assessment centre.

On hearing that assessment clinics were set to be based in Exeter, doctors from across the WEB (Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh) Primary Care Network combined to create the service at Exmouth hospital.

The centre opened on Monday (April 6) allowing GPs to send patients with suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 for ‘targeted’ assessment.

Dr Barry Coakley, GP partner at Claremont Medical Practice and clinical director for the WEB Primary Care Network, said the service will allow the community to receive treatment closer to home.

He said “We know that when you feel unwell, you do not want to have to travel far from home to see a GP - especially during these worrying times.

“We are passionate about providing excellent local healthcare to all people in the WEB area and this collaboration will achieve this.”

There are no walk-in appointments for the assessment centre and patients with coronavirus symptoms can access this service by ringing the NHS 111 service.

Alternatively, they can ring their own GP practice and a clinician will discuss their condition with them and make a decision on whether a more detailed review is required.

In line with national guidance, coronavirus testing will not be on offer at this clinic.

The centre will be available during normal GP hours initially – that may increase as the scale of the pandemic becomes clearer.

The Government has told people they should stay at home, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, with the following exceptions

• To go to work where it cannot be done from home

• For essential food shopping

• For medical reasons

• For exercise once a day

Dr Coakley added: “Living and working locally, all of our GPs have a real connection to this area.

“We care about our patients and want to see us all pull through this time unscathed.

“It is for this reason that we would like to thank the community for playing their part and staying at home as much as possible.

“We will be here if you need us, but otherwise, stay home and keep our wonderful community safe.”


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