Somerset ups game on COVID 19 testing

Somerset’s councils and health authorities have introduced a significant uplift in the testing capacity for COVID 19.

Health and social care workers

Testing sites have been set up at four locations around Somerset for health and social care workers.Over 340 health and social care providers have been sent details of how and when to test their staff.   

This should now enable all:

  • Staff who are symptomatic
  • Staff who are self-isolating due to a member of their household being symptomatic in this case it may be the person/people who are symptomatic that are tested.

to get the testing they need.

Four drive through testing sites have been set up at Bridgwater Community Hospital, Yeovil District Hospital, Bridgwater&Taunton college campus in Taunton and Shepton Mallet Community Hospital.

Testing can only be arranged for health and social care workers through their management structure. But the facilities in place should enable front line workers who need it to get tested.

Members of public

Meanwhile new testing capacity is being organised for members of the public too. Primary Assessment Centres are being set up across the county where patients with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) can be seen. We should stress that this is only for use after you have had an assessment by the NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service or their local GP practice.

Every Primary Care Network across the county has a plan in place to see patients safely.

This could be within their own GP practices, working with other GP practices utilising a specific practice location nearby; or using a local Community Hospital.

Patients will be told which unit to visit once they have been assessed by the NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service or their GP practice.

The first Community Hospital primary assessment centre has now opened at Bridgwater Community Hospital. This new service will be supported by clinical staff from Burnham-on-Sea Community Hospital’s minor injuries unit (MIU) which will temporarily close during this period.

A  primary assessment centre, located at Burnham-on-Sea Community Hospital will support patients with suspected COVID-19 in North Sedgemoor. Other areas of Somerset will benefit from primary assessment centres located in GP Practices.  

Please note that patients who would have sought treatment at the MIU in Burnham-on-Sea should contact their GP practices for support.

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