Keep CALM! The Rtn Dr will see you now...

COVID-19 in Abingdon.

Rotary in Abingdon's response

The advent of the COVID19 pandemic in March 2020 provided an opportunity for Rotary in Abingdon, with an additional financial grant from The Rotary Foundation, to support;a front line local initiative by the six medical practices in Abingdon.

Specific medical equipment/materials were provided to support the CALM (Community Assessment Liaison Monitoring) clinic in the grounds of Abingdon hospital and a CALM visiting service to see and assess those patients with suspected COVID19 in Abingdon.

Six medical practices worked together to initially assess and triage patients into the service within their own GP practices enabling the individual practice buildings to continue to see patients who were not suspected of having COVID19. 

The equipment required by the medical teams (and funded by Rotary in Abingdon) was:

  • O2 saturation monitors; 
  • infra-red (no touch) thermometers
  • purchase material and make "scrubs" suitable for both hospital staff and GPs

This initiative has been an example of the local Rotary organisation being made aware of a specific community need and responding rapidly with manpower and finance support to address the issue.

Rtn David Rycroft

An Abingdon Doctor's response

CALM Clinic

The CALM clinic was set up on March 23rd 2020 and ran until 10th July 2020.

A project was organised by the six practices in the Abingdon Federation [of General Practices], the CALM clinic used a site provided for us by Abingdon Hospital. It was staffed by GPs from the six practices on a rota and its aim was to provide face to face appointments to patients who needed seeing, either because they had symptoms of possible COVID-19 (fever, cough etc) or because they were self-isolating and/or had family members who were potentially affected.

By seeing these patients at a dedicated site the six practices were able to keep their individual premises as risk-free as possible for all the other primary care patients that might need to be seen. At the onset of lockdown it was difficult to predict how busy such a clinic might be and indeed we feared that the numbers might be overwhelming.

In reality, it was very lightly used and many sessions passed without any referrals occurring at all. At that stage it became unrealistic to maintain a clinic staffed by two clinicians who were not being used, and in addition, Abingdon Hospital asked for its premises back. In future the county is planning to set up three similar COVID-19 clinics based in Banbury, Oxford and Wallingford, and our patients will have the option of being seen in any of these. This service is due to start mid-August and in the meantime practices will need to manage all their own patients themselves.

Rotary also provided us with any scrubs that we might need and indeed,  we have been wearing these regularly when seeing patients along with appropriate PPE. 

On behalf of the six Abingdon surgeries I would like to thank Rotary in Abingdon for its support in these difficult times.

Rtn. Dr. Halcyon Pope 

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