First published on June 2020

Over recent weeks, the way in which we have been working has been changing rapidly in line with the recent pandemic.

It is important for us to remind you, that though our practice doors remain closed to reduce the spread of COVID 19, we are still open and operating and if you have any concerns you should still be contacting your GP.

Our COVID Response

Our PCN has been working alongside external colleagues to identify ways we can work together during these challenging times. We have been considering ways we see potential COVID19 positive patients, how we maintain routine care, care home support and home visiting in the safest way we can.

The practices within Fountains building; Fountains Medical Practice, Northgate Medical Centre, Northgate Village Surgery and The Elms are now involved in a local service dedicated to patients who are potentially COVID 19 and require a face to face assessment.

This service is for those who have presented to their GP or 111 and for whom an initial telephone triage has already taken place.

We refer to this service as a ‘Hot Hub’ and it operates offsite at the 1829 building at the Countess of Chester with a joined-up home visiting service so that we support our populations needs as best we can.

Garden Lane and St Werburgh’s continue to operate ‘hot hub’ clinics on their own sites for their patients.

What else have we been doing?

As our practices begin to work more closely together, we have been developing a PCN website to communicate with you our joint working initiatives. This is aimed at both at both patients and staff. We are working to ensure that the website has links to all of our practices as well as local Chester based services, with a real focus on Health and Wellbeing.

The PCN has been keen to improve the support we give to our Care Homes and we are now at the stage of planning the initiation of this new service.

We are very aware of some of the challenges that we see in Care Homes and our GP practices are working even more closely together to develop a more proactive response.

Our PCN has just received its funding for 20/21. We are working with our practices to see how we can create new services in addition to those that we have created already which include social prescribing, pharmacy and mental health.