Coronavirus assessment centre set up at Shrewsbury Town ground
A drive-through assessment centre is being set up at Shrewsbury Town Football Club for patients with coronavirus symptoms.
Nobody will be tested at the assessment centre, which is strictly appointment-only for patients who have been directed there by their GP practice.
Instead the centre on the stadium car park will provide face-to-face assessments from Monday to Friday, including bank holidays, between 8am and 7pm.
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It has been designed and implemented by NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups and comes as the Government faces continued criticism for not carrying out more Covid-19 tests.
While other nations including Germany, South Korea and Australia have already tested hundreds of thousands of their citizens, Britain has been lagging behind.
The number of daily tests fell on Tuesday to 8,240, for a total of 143,186 tests since the end of February, according to Government figures.
People who are suspected of having the virus, are feeling very unwell and require medical attention will be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals from their vehicles or in temporary clinical rooms on the car park off Oteley Road.
Further assessment centres will be rolled-out across the county with the next site being planned in Telford.
Patients who think they are showing symptoms of coronavirus are being told to contact NHS 111 online in the first instance.
The idea behind the centre is to stop patients with suspected coronavirus attending GPs' surgeries and potentially infecting other people – particularly those in at-risk groups.
Julian Povey, Chair of NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The purpose of these new centres is to assess people with coronavirus symptoms, relieve pressure on local GP practices and hospitals, and to effectively manage the growth of cases in the community.
“It is extremely important at this time to shield our practices, where possible, from patients with suspected coronavirus as this protects both our staff and patients who do not have the disease, particularly those in higher risk groups.
“Staff members at the CCGs and local GP practices have been working hard to create these centres within a week, which are effectively temporary GP practices.
“The assessment centres are not testing facilities or walk-in services for patients with symptoms of coronavirus, and no patient will be able to report directly to these centres without being referred by their GP.”
Brian Caldwell, Chief Executive of Shrewsbury Town Football Club, said: “The club is delighted to assist local NHS staff with the use of our stadium car park.
“It goes without saying that we are happy to do all we can to support the NHS at this very difficult time, so it’s great that we can play a small part.”