When more and more patients were being diagnosed or self-diagnosing with Covid-19, it became clear that an alternative to primary care in GP practices had to be put in place. That’s where Hot Hubs have come in.

What is a Hot Hub?

Hot Hubs are restricted areas situated away from the doctor’s surgeries where Covid patients can see a clinician for other conditions, like pre-existing diabetes, kidney disease or heart complaints.

Patients are referred by their GP or NHS 111 and given an appointment date and time. They must travel to the Hot Hub by car and remain in their vehicle throughout, being seen inside 1 of the purpose-built tents by GPs or Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

How is Here involved with the Withdean Hot Hub?

Here has been commissioned by the Brighton and Hove CCG to plan and manage the Covid Hot Hub in Brighton. In collaboration with primary care clinicians and teams in and around the city, the learning hot hub site began operating from the County Oak practice in Carden Avenue and is now in the Withdean Stadium car park for as long as required.

The Withdean site was chosen for its space and central location and was set up in 2 days.

Keeping the Community Safe

Covid patients being seen away from the GP practice in a Hot Hub means that the safety of GP practice teams is maintained, and that of the patients attending with no coronavirus symptoms. And care is maintained for those patients with Covid-19 allowing them to still be able to be treated for their other conditions in a safe environment.

Wendy Carberry, executive director of primary care for NHS Sussex Commissioners, said:

“Keeping GPs and their staff healthy is crucial so they can continue to care for everybody, and Sussex CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) have been working together with practices to reduce attendance at practices by supporting and enabling the use of telephone appointments and video consultations where possible. Our plans around this are in line with regional and national guidance and we have developed this new approach in collaboration with local GPs.”

The Hot Hub itself is deep cleaned at least once a day and PPE is worn by the clinicians.

What do the public need to know?

Contact your GP surgery as normal if you need to see a doctor or nurse for any reason, but do not go to the practice unless asked to by the practice staff – a consultation may be possible on the phone or online.

You will be asked to give an accurate and detailed description of your symptoms in order for you to receive the most appropriate treatment.

GP surgeries are making alternative arrangements to ensure patients from the deaf community, people with learning disabilities, those whose first language is not English and anyone without access to a telephone can still access appointments.

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