A general practice in Lincolnshire has been forced to cancel or delay “a lot” of patient appointments for the next two weeks because much of its nursing team is self-isolating.
The Millview Medical Centre has confirmed that three members of its nursing team are in self-isolation for the next 14 days “as a precaution”, after one other staff member tested positive with Covid-19.
In total this meant 70% of its nursing workforce was self-isolating.
“We don’t believe any of our patients have been put at risk”
Millview Medical Centre spokesperson
The centre, which has surgeries in Sleaford and Heckington, said it understood that none of its patients had been put at risk because appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) was worn by staff during clinics.
Under government guidelines, health and social care staff are required to self-isolate for 14 days if they have come into contact with a co-worker with a confirmed Covid-19 test whilst not wearing PPE.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 testing for general practice is prioritised for staff with symptoms, and asymptomatic staff in “outbreaks and in areas of higher prevalence”.
Nursing Times asked NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) if the nursing staff in self-isolation were able to access Covid-19 testing but it declined to comment on this.
However, the government said having a test when an individual was self-isolating with no symptoms would not be deemed a reason to stop self-isolating, due to the two-week incubation period of the virus.
The Millview Medical Centre announced on its Facebook page on Sunday evening that “a lot of appointments” would need to be cancelled or deferred as of this week because 70% of its nursing team needed to self-isolate.
The social media post also stated that one other doctor and one nurse practitioner at the centre were also currently shielding.
An official statement from a spokesperson at the centre, issued to Nursing Times today, said: “A member of our nursing team has recently tested positive for Covid-19 and is now self-isolating.
“In addition, three other members of our nursing team, who had been in contact with this member of staff, are also now self-isolating as a precaution, which means 70% of our nursing team are self-isolating.
“We don’t believe any of our patients have been put at risk since our staff were wearing appropriate PPE during clinics, however, there will be a significant impact on appointments for the next two weeks.”
The centre will be “prioritising all urgent appointments, such as those for Zoladex, Prostap, cervical smear, immunisations, chemotherapy bloods and dressings”, noted the spokesperson.
The service also still intends to complete its first phase of its influenza immunisation programme by the end of the month.
The spokesperson assured that the centre was in the process of contacting patients to rearrange appointments as required and apologised for any inconvenience caused.