A GLASGOW community health service has been hailed a major success as it assessed almost 40,000 Covid-19 patients since the start of the pandemic. 

Community Assessment Centres (CACs) first opened in March 2020 to aid in managing the flow of suspected coronavirus cases into the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board.

Now, NHS staff at a Hamiltonhill centre have been praised for their work throughout the pandemic. 

The Barr Street centre was one of the first to be set up and saw  upwards of 36,700 patients by the end of 2021. 

The success of the team there has been used as a blueprint for other centres. 

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Dr Kerri Neylon, deputy medical director for primary care at NHSGGC, who played an important role in establishing CACs, said:  “The creation of the CACs across NHSGGC provided important protection for patients who required non-Covid-19 related care and key support to our 235 GP practices. 

“The staff have been fantastic and demonstrate our key health service values in action on a daily basis. 

CACs were one of the first major responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and have also proven to be one of the most effective, providing vital frontline support.

Dedicated NHS staff evaluated tens of thousands of patients and directed them home with a care plan or to acute care, while protecting the health service from being overwhelmed by the virus.

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Health bosses say the staff voluntarily stepped “into the unknown to help protect and treat the public ahead of their own safety” at a time when the virus was still largely unknown.

“This goes for Barr Street and all other Centres which were set up and relied so much on the local clinicians to staff,” added Dr Neylon.

“They answered the call without question, and undoubtedly helped control the impact of the virus on our key health services by making sure patients got the right type of care. 

“They came together and quickly established protocols to improve patient experiences and outcomes – from the communication with patients and their families, through to treatment and discharge either home or to hospital.”

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Assistant chief officer of primary care and early intervention for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, Gary Dover, added : “The Barr Street team has been inspirational and I’m not surprised so many staff were willing to face the unknown in taking up frontline roles at the centre. 

“Despite the rapid pace of change and ongoing uncertainty, the team were there to provide comfort and treatment to patients, while also helping protect our other vital health services from being overwhelmed.”