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Two GP practices closed down amid staff Covid-19 outbreak

Two GP practices in Enfield, North London, had to close down two weeks ago after five members of staff tested positive for Covid-19. 

Freezywater Primary Care Centre and Willow House Surgery, run by the same health partners, closed on 12 June.

Health secretary Matt Hancock referred to the practices in his speech delivered to Parliament on Monday (29 June), where he said Leicester would continue to be placed in lockdown due to high Covid-19 transmission rated. 

He stated: ‘Earlier this month, we closed two GP surgeries in Enfield’.

In response, NHS North Central London CCG told Pulse: ‘Freezywater Primary Care Centre in Enfield, run by Medicus Health Partners, closed for deep cleaning on Friday 12 June after five members of staff tested positive for Covid-19, one of which was asymptomatic.

‘Willow House Surgery also closed for deep cleaning on 12 June as a precaution due to cross site working. While both buildings were closed for one day for deep cleaning, practice services continued without disruption.

‘Services for patients continued to be available via telephone, video and e-consultation appointments, with face-to-face appointments, when needed, at neighbouring Medicus Health Partners’ sites. No other staff or patients were affected.’

According to Public Health England’s dashboard, the borough of Enfield has had a total of 899 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Yesterday, the Government issued an alert urging practices to throw away batches of out-of-date face-masks, after finding they posed a ‘risk to staff’.

Meanwhile, there has been political pressure for weekly Covid-19 testing for all NHS staff, in order to reduce the spread of infection in healthcare settings.

Part of the Government’s strategy is to initiate local lockdowns on the basis of confined outbreaks, and NHS England warned last week that practices should review their Covid-19 business continuity plans to take into account potentially ‘high levels’ of staff absences and the full closure of premises in the event of local outbreaks.

Weston General Hospital also shut in May on the back of a cluster of new Covid-19 admissions, while the same was true of food factories in Kirklees, Cambridgeshire, Anglesey and Wrexham.