Ludlow GP surgery forced to adapt to Covid-19 challenges during 'testing times'

Coronavirus could change the way medical services are delivered in the future, a Ludlow GP has said.

Dr Catherine Beanland
Dr Catherine Beanland

Dr Catherine Beanland, who is a partner at Portcullis Surgery, says the pandemic has brought about "considerable challenges" and has forced the practice to put in place different ways of working.

GPs have been carrying out more home visits and video appointments, while the surgery also has a 'hot room' with a separate entrance to examine anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19.

She says the GP practice is also working together with other organisations to introduce drive-through vaccination clinics.

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The way medical services could be delivered in the future is also being called into question, but Dr Beanland says in the meantime the local health service is "working flat out" to support patients.

“Our community is facing considerable challenges from self-isolation," Dr Beanland said.

"But the need for people to access primary health care has not reduced.

"We quickly realised that we must think differently about the way we deliver local health services to patients rather than continuing business as normal.

“Social distancing is a vital part of our plans. Protection for patients and medical staff is a priority.

Communicate

“At Portcullis Surgery in Ludlow, we have put in place different ways of working.

"It’s been a challenge but it means we can continue to deliver the services that our patients and our community needs.

"We make more home visits, have extra surgery hours and extended specialist support.

“We are working with Pulling Together Ludlow and Teme Leisure to introduce drive-through clinics for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and other vaccines."

She says coronavirus has also posed challenges surrounding the ways doctors communicate with patients.

“We are communicating with many more patients through email and through video appointments," Dr Beanland said.

“We have opened up a ‘hot room’ in the surgery with a separate entrance to examine anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19.

“We also remain open for patients who need to come to the surgery for advice and tests.

“These are testing times but everyone in our local health service is working flat out to support patients in the Ludlow area.

“We already recognise that this testing period is changing our thinking about how we might now deliver medical services in the future.

"But right now, we are concentrating on keeping our services available for all our patients.”

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