Coronavirus: STH Assessment Centre
A COVID-19 Primary Care Assessment Centre has opened at South Tyrone Hospital.
At least one COVID-19 Primary Care Centre is to be established in each Trust area across Northern Ireland.
The centres will ensure that vital GP services will be maintained throughout the coming weeks and months.
A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has confirmed that one of these centres will be based in Dungannon’s South Tyrone Hospital.
“A network of new Primary Care COVID-19 Assessment Centres is being rapidly established to manage the growth of Coronavirus cases in the community,” said the spokesperson.
“One of these new assessment centres is opening in South Tyrone Hospital on Monday, 30th March.
“We thank the volunteers from the local community who supported efforts to prepare for the opening of the new Assessment Centre.”
Speaking last week about the importance of these assessment centres, Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA said: “Primary Care COVID-19 Centres are an essential part of the fight against this virus.
“To ensure vital GP service can be maintained throughout the coming weeks and months, it is absolutely critical that those who show symptoms are separated from the patients with non COVID-19 related conditions.
“COVID-19 centres are not testing facilities and are only for patients who are very unwell, are suspected of having COVID-19 and require medical attention.
“Patients will not be able to report directly to these centres without being referred by their GP or Out of Hours provider.
“Whilst these centres will help to free up GP services to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital we balance this with the need for primary care services to continue with the minimum disruption.”
Chair of the British Medical Association in Northern Ireland, Dr Tom Black praised GPs for their quick response to the crisis.
“GPs have organised themselves very quickly and there has been a huge amount of work done between the Department of Health, the Health and Social Care Board, Trusts and GP Federations to provide the community with these COVID-19 centres,” he said.
“This method of GPs working in the middle ground is vital to protect hospital services for patients with the greatest need. I have no doubt that this work will save lives.”
It is understood another COVID-19 Primary Care Assessment Centre is to open in Banbridge.
Adam Morton , Local Democracy Reporting Service