A SPECIALIST GP hub has been set-up at Silsden.

The temporary hub, at Silsden Medical Centre, is among four launched across Bradford district,Wharfedale and Craven.

They are catering for patients with possible symptoms of coronavirus, or who are self-isolating, but urgently need to see a GP about a separate health concern.

NHS Bradford district and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) says every effort is being made during the current pandemic to provide care through the use of telephone, video and e-consultations. Patients shouldn’t visit their surgery in person unless advised otherwise by GP practice staff.

But a small number of patients who are self-isolating and need to urgently see a GP face-to-face will be offered an appointment at one of the hubs.

Dr James Thomas, clinical chairman of NHS Bradford district and Craven CCGs, said: “These hubs will make sure that we can continue to see the patients who, after speaking to them, we think are in urgent need of a face-to-face GP appointment.

“These appointments will be offered only where assessment or treatment cannot be done over the phone or by a video consultation.

“At this challenging time for our GP practices and patients, the hubs will make it safe for the patients and our staff to manage care.

“I would like to reiterate the hubs are not a walk-in service and I would urge people to stay away from the sites if they do not have a pre-booked appointment.

“We remind people that they must stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you need medical help, please do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you have symptoms of coronavirus use the 111 online service at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.”

Dr Matt Home – GP partner Silsden and Steeton Modality – said a hub was one of the safest ways to care for patients while reducing the risk of spreading the virus.

He said the Silsden site represented “the best option” because it had appropriate facilities and parking and was close to Airedale Hospital should patients need to be moved there following assessment.

Dr Horne added: “We are staffing the site with colleagues from across the Modality Partnership.

“Other practices from Wharfedale and Craven, which are not part of the Modality Partnership, are also supplying staff.”

He said all are fully trained in infection control and have the suitable personal protective equipment.

“We will be encouraging patients to drive to the site to minimise risks to local residents,” said Dr Horne.

“As long as people take the precautions around staying in and social distancing, the risk to residents is minimal.”