Published: 11:29, 21 April 2020
| Updated: 11:30, 21 April 2020
A drive-thru Covid-19 assessment unit in Maidstone has now closed and moved to a smaller location as patient referrals have been lower than expected.
The site at Maidstone Leisure Centre at Mote Park opened just two weeks ago and was set up to ease pressure on GP surgeries.
Patients needing assessments can now be seen at The College Practice’s Barming Surgery in Marigold Way.
The NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said this is a positive sign that social distancing is working.
Dr Navin Kumta from the CCG said: “Fortunately, the number of patients who needed referral to the Primary Care Treatment Centre at Maidstone Leisure Centre at Mote Park have been lower than predicted, which is likely to be a sign that social distancing and stay at home policies are working. It is vitally important that everyone continues to stay at home as much as possible as it seems to be effective.
“The site was originally set up to see a large number of patients a day but over the last two weeks, the number of patients being referred with potential Covid-19 symptoms has been significantly lower than anticipated.
“The GP practices that set up the site have therefore taken the decision, with our full support, to relocate the Primary Care Treatment Centre. Some patients will be seen at The College Practice’s Barming Surgery in Marigold Way and other patients will be seen at their own surgery."
Dr Kumta added: "This will enable clinicians to provide the same safe and efficient service on a smaller scale. The important point for patients is that they will continue to access an appointment at a Primary Care Treatment Centre via a referral from their GP or NHS 111.
“The Maidstone Leisure Centre was vacated on the evening of Friday, April 17. However, this is an unpredictable pandemic and should the number of patients needing to use the Primary Care Treatment Centre exceed the capacity of the new sites, escalation plans will be put in place.
“The CCG and the practices involved are very grateful for the support they have received from Maidstone Borough Council, Serco, Maidstone Rotary Club, and to many others who have supported the Centre.”