Since March 2020, healthcare has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing many new challenges, such as infection control and mass immunisation. With clinicians facing the combined pressures of increased demand and a move towards virtual consultations, partnership working has helped us meet changing requirements throughout the pandemic.
From the outset, SWGP Federation worked with Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to support practices with personal protective equipment (PPE) and workforce resources, as well as computer software following the urgent need to move to online patient consultations.
We also set up a reporting scheme enabling us to support practices when required, in addition to continuing to help care homes in line with national guidance.
From the start of the mass vaccination programme, we have worked in partnership with local practices and PCNs to set up several vaccination clinics to deliver protection against COVID-19 as quickly as possible in line with clinical priorities. In Southam and Studley, this involved taking on full responsibility for the vaccination clinics, including recruiting and training staff and volunteers, leaving practices free to focus on other priorities.
We have also worked with PCNs to establish and run four ‘hot hubs’ in South Warwickshire, to treat people with COVID-19 and those showing symptoms working closely with Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and practices.