Coronavirus assessment centre set to open in Middleton next week

Date published: 04 April 2020

A coronavirus assessment centre is to begin operating in Middleton town centre from early next week.

The ‘hot hub’ – based at Tesco Extra – will provide face-to-face appointments for those who are believed to be carrying the virus.

People who suspect they have the Covid-19 infection will first be triaged through the NHS 111 helpline.

If necessary, they will then be given an appointment at the Barton Road facility – where doctors will decide if they are well enough to self-isolate or need to be admitted to hospital.

There are also plans for people to be triaged through GP surgeries once capacity allows – but in either case it will remain a ‘referral and appointment’ process.

The centre will operate an in/out queuing process similar to what is now in operation at most supermarkets.

People will be asked to queue outside, with measures to ensure social distancing and – once assessed – will leave via a different door.

One of the key advantages of the ‘hot hubs’ is they allow for those with Covid-19 to be seen at a location separate from patients with other health issues.

There will be no testing at the centre initially, although it may be able to offer this at some point in the future.

NHS staff and key workers would be prioritised initially, but this would be broadened out to the wider community as testing is ‘ramped up’.

Staff are expected to be briefed over the weekend in expectation that the centre will begin early next week.

Chris Clarkson, MP For Heywood and Middleton said: This new ‘Hot Hub’ assessment centre is part of the emergency infrastructure we need to deal with coronavirus, and I am delighted that it has been located here in Middleton.

"The increased capacity that it brings to our care network will help to ease pressure on other local facilities and it is reassuring for local people and key workers to know that they will have easy access to this facility should they need it."

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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