Press release dated 10 April 2020
More NHS GP surgeries across Derbyshire are joining forces to support patients and hospital colleagues by creating specialist assessment centre ‘hot hubs’.
The first Derbyshire NHS ‘hot hub’ to assess ill patients for suspected Covid-19 opened on Mon (6 April) at Derby University’s Kedleston Road site.
Now a number of other specialist, stand-alone, open-air units, to support those planned in GP surgeries, are being created.
On Monday, 13 April, a hub located in the car park behind the bus station in Civic Way, Swadlincote, will open and the following day, Tuesday, 14 April a second Derby city hub will open at the London Road hospital site in Derby.
Hubs see patients on an appointment-only basis and are staffed by GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants. The two city centre hubs at Derby University and London Road – with a third still being planned – are expected to be able to see between 300 and 400 patients a day at each site when they are working to capacity. The Swadlincote site will be capable of seeing up to 200 patients a day.
Really ill patients who do not need a 999 ambulance, who have tried all “remote” options (those that are not face-to-face) to manage the condition will be referred to the hubs for an appointment after they have been referred to their GP for a phone or video conversation by NHS 111.
No walk-in patients will be allowed at these hubs as they are strictly appointment only. These facilities are not testing sites.
The NHS has been working closely with local area partners including Derby University, Derby City Council, and South Derbyshire District Council to get the hubs up and running, with local businesses also being supportive.
All hubs have a clear system and signage in place to allow patients to access the sites, transfer medical information relating to their appointment. Patients will be assessed by clinicians at their allotted appointment time and while waiting to be seen will be socially distanced from one another.
The London Road facility will have marshals working at the entrance to the hub to allow patients to be dropped off and traffic flow to be managed as it is a pedestrian, not drive-through, site.
Dr Komal Raj, Clinical Lead for the Derby City Network of GP practices, said: “Our NHS and communities are fighting this disease with everything we’ve got and I want to thank everyone who is staying in this weekend to help prevent spreading this virus.
“Partner organisations and the local community have been so supportive in helping get these hubs ready for patients.
“We’re treating people who need us now and preparing for any challenge we face in the weeks that lie ahead to keep people well and save lives.”
Dr Mark Rooney, a clinical lead who has played a key role in the development of the Swadlincote hub, said: "We recognise we are witnessing something unprecedented and wish to do what we can to support the patients in our communities.
“This service shows the local primary care team working together to support each other for all of our patients.
“The staff involved in setting up these hubs across Derbyshire have done so in record time using local NHS resources combined with the immense support of local business and organisations.
“We’re working hard to keep you all safe so please follow the advice and STAY AT HOME so we can keep treating people and make sure there’s capacity in the NHS to look after everyone.”
Patients are still advised to use 111 online advice first, if they are concerned about their symptoms. 111 online will then advice and what next steps people should take.