NHS clinic created at Essex Sport Arena to support fight against COVID-19

  • Date

    Tue 19 May 20

The University of Essex has stepped up to back the national effort to fight COVID-19 by allowing the Essex Sport Arena at its Colchester Campus to be converted into a dedicated NHS clinic for pre-booked appointments.

The clinic will be staffed by NHS doctors and support staff from the Colte Partnership, which runs surgeries and clinics across the local area, including our Colchester Campus surgery.

The new clinic is expected to open on Tuesday 26 May and will meet the urgent need for additional facilities to respond to increasing demand.

The clinic will not be a walk-in service and will be for Colte Partnership patients who have been given pre-booked appointments set against stringent criteria. It will only be open in the afternoon and access will be strictly controlled to ensure confidentiality and privacy for patients seeking medical advice from the Colte Partnership team.

Patients attending the clinic will be those demonstrating mild symptoms of COVID-19 but are unlikely to have been tested for the illness. Patients may be attending to have their symptoms assessed or to have an ailment checked, entirely unrelated to COVID-19, for example. suspected appendicitis. Every patient will have already been seen by a clinician through a ‘virtual’ appointment where it will have been deemed clinically necessary for the patient to be physically examined by a doctor.

Signposting is now being put in place around Essex Sport Arena and the clinic is expected to open before the end of the month. Colte Partnership is following stringent national guidelines and its plan for additional facilities has been approved by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who govern clinical compliance across the UK. The security fencing has been provided and installed free of charge by construction company R G Carter.

Director of Sport at Essex, Dave Parry said: “We are proud to be able to support the NHS and the Colte Partnership by offering them the use of the Essex Sport Arena. We can all see the soaring demand on NHS resources, so we’re pleased we are able to rise to the challenge to support them. Being able to step-up and make a difference in these very difficult times, makes us proud of our place in the community.”

Colte’s Chief Operating Officer, Martin Chapman added: “In these challenging times, it has been critical to quickly implement new methods of patient care and with the fantastic support of the University, we are able to pool our limited resources as a Partnership to be able to respond to the needs of our patients and offer them face-to-face appointments whenever clinically necessary. It’s important that our patients feel able to continue to be seen whether that is for concerns around COVID-19 or any other ailments they need clinical support with. I’m extremely grateful to the University of Essex team for their keen and generous support.”

Students still living on campus and staff working at the campus will not need to take any additional measures other than those already advised in terms of social distancing and 'staying alert and safe'. Signage will be displayed around the facility to remind those on campus to continue practicing social distancing at all times.