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Berkshire West Primary Care Hubs

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, two special respiratory hubs were set up for local people who were showing coronavirus symptoms but didn't need immediate hospital or GP treatment. The media release is available here.

One is at the Walk-in Centre in Reading’s Broad Street Mall, and this remains open. The second was a specially adapted and contained space at Newbury Racecourse East entrance, this hub closed on 30 June.

The Reading hub is only be available to patients who have already gone through a structured medical triage system. So, anyone starting to show the coronavirus symptoms of a constant cough and/or high temperature, should still self-isolate for seven days and seek advice from NHS 111 online.

If symptoms worsen during this seven day isolation period then they should ring or make online contact with their GP surgery where they will be referred to the hub and given instructions of what to do when they get there.

Reading Walk-in Health Centre

GP services for registered patients at the Walk-in Centre, were temporarily moved to Milman Road Health Centre, Reading. These patients moved back to the Reading Walk-in Health Centre on 6 July, following a full infection control assessment.

It is still necessary for us to operate a scaled down primary care hub from the Walk-in Centre and to be ready for any covid second surge. Currently registered patients access their medical services through the front entrance in Broad Street Mall, whilst people needing to visit the hub do so via an access at the back of the building.

As is the case with all GP practices at the moment, patients are being offered telephone appointments which can be booked online or through a phone call to their GP practice.

To prevent the spread of the virus, routine face to face appointments are being replaced by this telephone triage system. Face to face appointments will only be offered after a telephone triage with a doctor and if they are considered necessary. Please do not go to your GP practice unless you have been asked to do so following a telephone call.

The Walk-in Centre remains closed to walk-in patients who are not registered with the practice. These patients are advised to contact the GP practice they are registered with, go online at 111.nhs.uk or to call NHS 111.

Q&As 

Q: What is a Primary Care Hub?
A: It is a medical centre run by GPs to deal with specific patients who are showing symptoms of coronavirus but who do not need hospital treatment.

Q: Who can use them?
A: The hubs are for people with coronavirus symptoms who have been referred for assessment by a GP. People will not be able to access the hub without being referred by a GP or NHS 111. Please do not just turn up at the hub asking for medical advice. If you are worried about your symptoms, please visit the 111 online service for further help.

Q: How do they work?
A: People showing coronavirus symptoms – a constant cough and/or high temperature of 37.8 – are initially advised to self- isolate for seven days and contact NHS 111 if they need further advice. Having contacted NHS 111 and been assessed by a GP, if patients meet the criteria for the hub they will be booked an appointment there and given guidance on what to do once they arrive.

Q: Why were they set up?
A: Coronavirus has placed enormous pressure on our local GP and hospital services, both in terms of the number of patients and the effect it has had on staffing levels. The hub helped to ease demand so GP practices can meet the needs of non-coronavirus patients and hospitals can concentrate on the critical cases.