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Practice cancels appointments as 70% of nursing team self-isolate



A GP practice in Lincolnshire has cancelled appointments after four of its nursing team, as well as one doctor, had to self-isolate.

Millview Medical Centre has announced ‘a lot’ of appointments will be cancelled or deferred after a nursing team member tested positive for Covid-19, forcing three other members of the team and one doctor to self-isolate. This means 70% of its nursing staff are off work.      

However, it said it is ‘aiming to honour’ some bookings – including urgent appointments, cervical smears, immunisations, and injections such as breast cancer drug Zoladex and prostate cancer drug Prostap.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the centre – which has one surgery in Sleaford and another in Heckington – wrote: ‘Unfortunately for the next two weeks 70% of the nursing team are having to self-isolate.

‘We understand that NO patients are at risk but clearly this is going to significantly impact on patients as we need to cancel/ defer a lot of appointments from tomorrow.

‘We have been in contact with our CCG this weekend and will fully cooperate with any recommendations,’ it added.

In a further Facebook post published today, the practice rubbished rumours that it was closed, stressing that the centre was ‘still open’ although working at ‘reduced capacity’.

The practice is contacting patients whose appointments are not going ahead.

Lincolnshire CCG has not responded to a request for comment from Nursing in Practice on whether the self-isolating staff members have been or will be tested for Covid-19.

Under government guidelines, anyone who has been in contact with some who has symptoms of Covid-19 or has tested positive must self-isolate for 14 days.

Other UK practices have had to reduce capacity or close in recent months because of staff self-isolation from Covid-19.

For example, earlier this week, Bearwood Road Surgery in the West Midlands had to close its doors to patients for a fortnight after three non-clinical staff tested positive for Covid-19. 

At the NHS Providers annual conference yesterday, the chief operating officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement Amanda Pritchard admitted routine asymptomatic testing of NHS staff was not part of current plans, despite calls for it to be introduced.