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Space-constrained GP practice applies to set up Covid-19 clinic in portacabin

A Peterborough GP practice has applied for permission to use a portacabin as an isolation space for suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) patients.

Thorpe Road Surgery has submitted plans for approval to Peterborough City Council, shining a light on both its limited space and how practices are having to adapt to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

GP practices that do not have a ‘hot hub’ within their PCN should set up ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ zones within the practice, NHS England has said.

According to the Peterborough Telegraph, the surgery said: ‘The building will be used for clinical rooms for current staff working ad hoc due to room space.

‘Planning for a permanent extension has lapsed so the new application and funding is a future target.

‘The portacabin will help the current space issue in the interim and will serve immediately as isolation rooms for suspected Covid-19 patients.

‘This application seeks temporary planning approval of three years, by which time a permanent solution will have been sought.’

It further attempted to convince the council by stressing that the portacabin will not take long to be installed, which would allow the practice to begin utilising the specifically fitted out building at a faster rate than with a traditional build.

It continued that the portacabin can easily be removed from the site, with little impact.

It comes as last winter, NHS England submitted a proposal for GPs at a 2,700-patient practice in Essex to temporarily operate from a portacabin.