Until now, patients with Covid in the Harrogate district who urgently needed a face-to-face doctor’s appointment would attend their own surgery.
And while there are strict social distancing, PPE and infection, prevention and control measures in place in all GP surgeries, it’s more practical if Covid-positive patients, or those displaying symptoms, can be seen at a dedicated site elsewhere.
The Jennyfield Styan Community Centre in Grantley Drive is owned by Harrogate Borough Council and they have said it will be used until January 2021.
The centre is home to support groups, youth clubs, and a host of activities ranging from tai chi and tea dances to carpet bowls and yoga.
Locum GPs and part-time doctors are due to begin seeing patients at the centre from next week with consultation slots for patients referred on by their own GP practice where a face-to-face appointment is deemed essential, scheduled between noon and 6pm, Mondays to Fridays.
Mark Beesley, Chief Operating Officer for the Yorkshire Health Network, said:
Our GP practices have wanted an additional facility for some time, but with activity levels in our surgeries now back to what they were before the pandemic, it’s become even more pressing.
Finding an appropriate location has been a challenge – none of the practices in our network are large enough to be configured in such a way so they can be adequately segregated for Covid patients and the numbers of non-Covid patients we’re now seeing.
The Jennyfield Styan Community Centre is ideal. It’s a self-contained, wheelchair friendly building, centrally located, with good parking and there is sufficient area for two consultation spaces which means GPs can alternate between the two – seeing patients in one, while the other is properly deep-cleaned and sanitised ready for the next appointment.
Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said:
It goes without saying, we are very proud to support the NHS and the response to Covid-19.
Jennyfield Styan Community Centre plays a vital part of the community for so many, and now more than ever. I hope the NHS can make use of the facility and provide much needed GP appointments for those that so desperately need them.
Patients who have been allocated an appointment at the community centre will be asked to wait in their vehicle on arrival, wear a suitable face-covering and keep hands sanitised. They will be escorted in and out of the building before and after their appointment to ensure there is no waiting in communal areas or crossover with other patients.