ASSESSMENT centres are being set up to support patients with Covid-19 symptoms.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) is working with GP practices across North Wales to set up Local Assessment Centres to help manage the treatment of patients in the community.

The centres will assess patients with symptoms of Covid-19, either to manage their symptoms at home or to be referred on for further treatment.

Work on has started on the centres, or is in the process of starting, in locations in Denbighshire including Rhyl, Ty Elan Surgery, branch surgery of Clarence House Medical Centre; Meliden, Meliden Community Centre, branch surgery of Healthy Prestatyn Iach and Denbigh, Denbigh Rugby Club.

As a result, the way GP services are being provided will change from this week.

Patients who need to access treatment and services should still telephone their normal GP practice first to seek assistance. A healthcare professional will call each patient to discuss their care needs.

If the support requested is not related to Covid-19, they may be invited to attend their normal GP surgery or a neighbouring practice for further assistance.

If it is suspected the caller may have Covid-19, then they may instead be referred to a Local Assessment Centre.

These venues will not be testing patients for the infection, and are only for patients who are offered an appointment. A drop-in service is not offered.

Patients will be given instructions on what to do when attending an appointment at a Local Assessment Centre to ensure the safety of each patient, their carer and the staff at the centre.

Dr Chris Stockport, executive director for Primary Care and Community Services, said: “The development of Local Assessment Centres is another important step in our plans to manage the spread of Covid-19 in North Wales.

“The Local Assessment Centres will help GP practices to continue to deliver services with as little disruption as possible.

“Patients should still call their registered GP practice as normal, but may be directed elsewhere depending on the treatment they need.“We know this may result in some longer travelling distances for patients in some instances, and we’re really sorry for that. But we hope that people understand this is a development we have had to make to help keep everyone, including our staff in Primary Care, as safe as possible.

“We’re really grateful for the support shown by the majority of the general public in following the Government’s guidance on social distancing.

"The success of plans we put in place to manage the spread of Covid-19 is reliant on the public following this guidance. Thank you for helping support the NHS in North Wales by following the national advice."

The development of the Local Assessment Centres follows national guidance, with similar changes already in place elsewhere in Wales.

The team at the venues is made up of healthcare professionals already working in the community and GP practices.

The other locations for the centres are as listed:

Holyhead (Longford House Surgery

Llanfair PG (Health Centre)

Pwllheli (Bryn Beryl Hospital

Dolgellau (Dolgellau Hospital

Colwyn Bay (West End Medical Centre

Rhyl (Ty Elan Surgery, branch surgery of Clarence House Medical Centre)

Meliden (Meliden Community Centre, branch surgery of Healthy Prestatyn Iac

Denbigh (Denbigh Rugby Club)

Connahs Quay (The Quay Health Centre

Buckley (Bradley’s Practice)

Flint (Flint Health and Wellbeing Centre

Wrexham (Borras Park Surgery)

Additional Local Assessment Centres will be introduced over the coming weeks.