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.

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.

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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