A SPECIALIST vehicle designed to deliver coronavirus assessments for patients at their homes has been launched by health bosses from Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

As part of a home visiting service available across the whole county, the vehicle has been customised to provide assessments to patients who are housebound or unable to travel and have either coronavirus symptoms or are living with someone with coronavirus symptoms.

The service is officially launching on Thursday, June 11 and will be available for GP practices to book visits from Monday to Friday, 10am with a last visit at 4pm.

Dr Julian Povey, chairman of Shropshire CCG, said: “The commissioning of a dedicated coronavirus home visiting service is a natural next step from the assessment centre model, taking the service out into the community to patient’s own homes.

“The specially designed van means we are able to provide a vital service to patients, when they need it and where they need it in the safest way possible.”

Dr Jo Leahy, chairman of Telford and Wrekin CCG, added: “Our home visiting service will enable the continued protection of our patients and staff and importantly will allow us to see people who are unable to leave their homes.”

The new initiative has been developed from the assessment centre model originally set up at the Shrewsbury Town Football Club and the Telford International Centre to assess patients for coronavirus and treat any other health conditions a patient may have.

The assessment centre at the Shrewsbury Town Football Club will remain open to all residents across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The vehicle’s bespoke design enables easy decontamination following visits and significantly reduces the risk of spreading the disease. It also contains two separate compartments to isolate clean and used equipment.

Two healthcare professionals in full personal protective equipment will be conducting the home visits and will carry out the initial assessment of the patient, take observations and discuss next steps.

Both the Shrewsbury assessment centre and home visiting service are strictly appointment-only for patients who have been directed there by their GP practice.

Patients who think they are showing symptoms of coronavirus should contact NHS 111 online in the first instance or call 111 free from a landline or mobile.

Tests for coronavirus will not take place at the Shrewsbury assessment centre or as part of the home visiting service.