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Covid Assessment Centre staff hailed for efforts during pandemic

Photo of Dr Margaret O'Brien, Head of GP Services, HSCB
Dr Margaret O'Brien, Head of GP Services

One year on from the first Covid-19 Assessment Centre opening in Northern Ireland, Dr Margaret O’Brien has praised the efforts of staff who have provided an important service over the last 12 months.

Dr O’Brien, Head of GP Services, HSCB said; “At a time of crisis, the GP community came together and responded swiftly to meet the needs of the population. Their efforts ensured that vital GP services continued throughout the pandemic.

“My thanks go to Dr Windsor Murdock and all the staff who worked so hard to establish the Covid Centres and keep them functioning.”

There are currently 10 primary care COVID-19 centres across Northern Ireland. They are located in Belfast, Ballymena, Coleraine, Newtownards, Downpatrick, Lisburn, Banbridge, Dungannon, Altnagelvin and SWAH.

COVID-19 centres are a GP-led innovation that was an urgent and immediate response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The centres ensure that primary care services can be maintained, by enabling patients who have COVID-19 symptoms to be treated separately from those patients who have other conditions which require assessment or treatment in primary care.

From opening, the Covid assessment centres have seen nearly 40,000 patients, 15% of which were then transferred to secondary care for further treatment or assessment.