Drive-through assessment venue among Covid-19 ‘hot sites’ under construction

Drive-through coronavirus assessment lanes are among new facilities being set up across Kent.

The so-called “hot sites” will allow patients with Covid-19 symptoms to speak to trained clinicians while keeping other premises virus free.

Patients need to be referred to a primary care treatment centre by their GP or via NHS 111, they are not testing centres or a walk-in service.

Dr Navin Kumta, GP and chair of NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Wherever possible, the primary care treatment centres will be established in an existing clinical building but this will vary across Kent and Medway.

Coronavirus
Constructors setting up the site (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“In some cases drive through facilities are being set up and buildings such as schools or leisure centres are also being used – providing they meet the criteria we have identified, which includes being easy to deep clean.

“The aim is to assess and treat patients who have Covid-19 symptoms, such as a persistent cough or a temperature over 37.8C, in a safe setting and ensure patients without symptoms can be seen at the other sites with a minimal risk of infection.

“This includes the most vulnerable and those self-isolating.”

Although as many patients as possible will be assessed via video and telephone to avoid unnecessary risk and travel, the new facilities cater for when people need to see a clinician face to face.

Coronavirus
The facilities are deemed ‘hot sites’ (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Among the primary care treatment centres being set up is a four-lane drive-through facility in Whitstable.

It is set to open on Tuesday April 14, and when running at full capacity it will be able to see four patients at a time in four lanes, operating between 10am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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