A NEW centre is opening in Winsford to assess people who suspect they may have Covid-19.

The Winsford Coronavirus Assessment Centre is being set up by NHS professionals on Monday, April 6 on the Dene Drive Centre car park, beside Aldi.

An urgent appeal is now being made for volunteers to act as marshalls.

In Winsford all five doctors surgeries have been working hard together to set up a clinic where to see patients who have symptoms of covid-19 and need further assessment.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, a GP at Swanlow practice, said: "We anticipate that most people will not require any contact with health services as the majority will have a mild illness and will recover by themselves.

 “If you have symptoms of Covid-19 (new continuous cough and/or fever 37.8 or greater) then you should self-isolate for 7 days, and anyone living with you should household-isolate for 14 days. NHS 111 online can provide help and advice about dealing with your symptoms.

“Those patients who we feel do need to be seen face to face in Winsford will be directed to come to our Covid-19 clinic at Dene Drive.

“This will be for any patient in Winsford registered with any of the five practices in the town.

“We are anticipating that most patients can be dealt with by assessing them without them getting out of their car. They will be given clear instructions about where to come, when to come and what to do when they arrive.

“We will have volunteer marshals to direct traffic and a marquee shelter for the doctors and nurses assessing people in our drive through clinic.

"Some patients may need to be seen inside and we have kitted out a self-contained area within the building (the physio and podiatry suite) to do this.

“Doctors and nurses here will be wearing scrubs, aprons, gloves, masks and eye protection. Patients will be asked to wear a mask.

Winsford Guardian:

Dr Jonathan Griffiths wants to thank all the surgeries in Winsford for working hard to set up the centre

“These measures may seem extreme but we are following all of the guidance that we can to keep everyone as safe as possible. This includes the safety of our staff and of course the safety of our patients."

This is not a Covid-19 testing centre. There is currently no testing for people who think they may have covid-19.

Patients should not approach any of the GPs purely to seek a test. The only people currently getting tested are those who are admitted to hospital.

Dr Griffiths added: "I have to say that is has been remarkable how quickly we have managed to get this clinic up and running.

“All of the doctors across the town have come together to agree this – we are having three video conference meetings each week.

"The practice managers have worked very hard to make this happen and we are also grateful to the community service teams for moving out of their rooms. Huge thanks must go to everyone who has been involved."

Dr Michael Fallon, a GP at Weaver Vale surgery, said: "We will be asking patients to bring something red in the car with them and wave it at the marshal so the marshal can direct them to the red zone without any interaction. Patients will be told not to wind down the window and if they do, the marshal should step back.

 "Practices across the town have been working together with great support from Winsford Town Council, Friends of Winsford Town Park, St John Ambulance, SimplySigns, Winsford churches and the whole Winsford community."

Stalwart community leader and honorary freeman of Cheshire John Malam, from Winsford, is working with the NHS to set up a team of local residents to support the centre.

John said: "I’ll be co-ordinating volunteers from home, drawing up a list and working out two-hour shifts for people. They’ll be marshalling arrivals to the correct area."

To volunteer as a marshall call 01606 863540 or 07941 847937.