Community centres to be used specifically to assess patients with suspected Covid-19 have opened in Lewisham.  

The two Covid-19 community centres, south of the borough at Marvel Lane Surgery in Grove Park, and north of the borough at the Waldron Centre in New Cross, have opened as part of the borough’s emergency response to the outbreak and are part of a national network to manage the growth of coronavirus cases. 

A Lewisham CCG spokesperson said: “The centres will provide care for patients who are unwell with suspected Covid-19 symptoms requiring medical attention.  

“The centres will offer additional support to secondary care, alleviating pressure at local hospitals. Neighbouring residents have been informed.” 

The community centres will be open seven days a week and patients will be seen on the same day they contact their GP or 111 if they need a face-to-face appointment.  

All staff will be in full personal protective equipment (PPE), according to the spokesperson. 

When patients arrive, they will be asked to confirm that they have an appointment and will then be asked to sit in a specially designated waiting area, “where they will have privacy from others”. 

A nurse will do an initial examination and send on the results to a GP to review. 

“These centres will provide a vital service in enabling GPs, along with their health and social care colleagues, to work closely together in a suitable clinical environment and establish what is best for individual patient care.

“Over the next few weeks, it’s essential that vital GP services are maintained, with minimum disruption, and Lewisham’s Covid-19 community centres will be invaluable in doing that.

“But it’s important to remember that these community centres are not testing facilities.  

“They are purely for patients who are unwell, are suspected of having Covid-19 and require medical attention following an appointment being made for them,” according to the spokesperson.