At this time we face a rapidly evolving situation that is unprecedented in modern life but we want to assure all our patients and colleagues of the work being done behind the scenes to support our centres and services.
Our clinical team is led by our Chief Medical Officer (Paul Zollinger-Read CBE) and our Head of Clinical Services (Sarah Whittaker) who are both in regular contact with our colleagues in the NHS and Public Health England to ensure we stay up to date with the latest information and guidance. They in turn hold regular briefings with the wider team to pass on updates and advice on best practice and support our teams with any questions that they may have. We are extremely proud of the responses of our team as they have risen to the challenges that this pandemic has brought to us all.
We are guided at all times by NHS and Public Health England guidelines and are screening all patients for symptoms of fever or a new persistent cough prior to attendance at one of our sites. Anyone thought to be symptomatic is being referred to the 111 service. Visits to our on site private GP’s are also subject to further triage calls from the GP team to find ways of meeting patients needs without having to attend site.
In recent days there has been updated advice from the government about those in high risk groups and the need to self-isolate in the near future in order to minimise risk. In support of that, from 20 March 2020 we are limiting on-site access for those people in high risk groups to urgent clinical need only (with that need determined by your referring clinician).
Looking at the wider healthcare landscape, we and other independent healthcare providers are working with the NHS to provide facilities and support to the efforts against the COVID-19 outbreak. The exact nature, extent and the timing of this support is still being worked out, but it is important that we all play a part.
If you are showing any COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms, however mild, you should follow the latest government advice and self-isolate. Please do not attend your appointment if you are showing any symptoms – instead, please contact our teams and they can discuss rearranging your appointment with you.
Following the current advice published on 12 March 2020 from Public Health England, please be advised that you should not enter any of our sites if you have the following symptoms:
A new continuous cough, or, a fever or high temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)
The guidance advises you to stay at home (self-isolate), regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if you have the above symptoms.
COVI-19 testing at our centres
Several people have asked if we are offering COVID 19 testing at our centres, and we have decided not to offer these tests for the time being.
There are several practical and moral reasons for this decision. Firstly, across the UK there are limited testing kits for the front line and we would not want to be taking these away from those who need them most. Secondly, the laboratories that analyse the results have a finite resource and need to remain focussed on supporting the greater need.
Our values mean we always act with integrity, and we would question our moral compass if we were to offer access to such a scarce resource at a time of national crisis.
If in due course the production of testing kits increases dramatically and the needs of the NHS are fully supported, we may then be able to offer COVID 19 testing – we will let you know when and if we do.