The NHS remains at Alert Level 3, with the virus still widely in general circulation. Whilst there has been a relaxation of restrictions, nationally the number of cases have fluctuated with a recent surge in positive COVID cases. Locally in Lichfield there have been 650 people with a positive PCR Covid result in the last 7 days, a 54% increase in cases. (Lichfield East | Daily summary (data.gov.uk))
Locally we have had a successful vaccination programme and many residents are now vaccinated with both doses. The Practice has vaccinated 21996 patients with a 1st dose and a total of 20818 patients have received both 1st and 2nd doses. However, the pandemic is not over and we must sustain our efforts to limit transmission of COVID variants and a potential resurgence of respiratory infections.
We have been constantly reviewing the temporary closure of our Shenstone site to patients as part of our operating procedure over the course of the last 18 months as COVID measures have been amended or changed. The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority. Given the high number of cases locally the Westgate Practice has taken the decision to keep our Shenstone Branch closed to patients until March 2022.
All of our services remain accessible to Shenstone residents; any face to face appointments that are required will continue to be offered at our main site at Greenhill Health Centre, Lichfield.
During the 4 week period 4th August 21 – 29th August 21, the Practice has provided 5150 face to face appointments. This represents 46% of our total appointments. During the same period there were 295 patients who did not attend their appointment.
Why are we opening Greenhill but not Shenstone?
- The main site provides adequate space and a safe queue management and flow system in and out of the practice.
- It affords for the same level of access to services for all of our patients
- Processes are constantly evolving and we can ensure a more consistent approach with all staff being on one site. All paperwork including medication requests will now be processed at the main site.
- The practice can follow strict guidelines around social contact when booking appointments and adjusting how people move through the premises and contact between patients
- We are able to continue to operate a “HOT” room at Greenhill to see all those patients with a high temperature or respiratory symptoms.
All these measures protect our patients and staff, and will ensure we minimise the risks of transmitting infection during the winter months. The Westgate Practice would like to thank all of our patients for their understanding and support during the pandemic. As a reminder the majority of our services can be accessed remotely either by the telephone or via our website.