Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Green is ‘go’ for shielding patients’ clinic during lockdown

Learn how nurses, GPs and volunteers in rural Herefordshire kept essential services running for 3,000 shielding patients …

When the first wave of the pandemic hit in March 2020, it increasingly saw some of the most vulnerable members of society among those hardest-hit – something that was no different in rural Herefordshire.

A local GP who was also shielding himself soon realised the impact that the situation could have on the 3,000-plus patients in the county who had been advised to shield to protect themselves.

“We were quick to recognise the issues that were unfolding,” explains Cate Lamport, the advanced nurse practitioner at Cantilupe Surgery in Hereford.

“Many of those who had been asked to shield are so reliant on primary care services in their day to day lives, so it was essential that we found a way of continuing to offer the essential services they needed.”

It was from there that the Super Green Clinic was born, as staff from the area’s five primary care networks, Taurus Healthcare and Herefordshire’s GP Federation worked to provide pre-chemo blood tests, pre-surgery vaccines, essential blood monitoring and tests, and on going care for conditions like leg ulcers to shielding patients.

Setting up the clinic presented a huge logistical challenge in itself, requiring a suitable site to be identified, deep cleaned, stocked and staffed at short notice, as local practices were asked to deploy staff to support the clinic.

Thanks to their quick work, the clinic opened on 21 April 2020 and was soon welcoming 80 patients a week, as well as offering home visits to those who were unable to travel.

It is the dedication of the team behind the clinic that Cate credits as the key to its success.

“The morale among everyone involved was so high and it’s a team that I am really proud to have been a part of” Cate explains.

“Everyone really did pull together to offer the best possible care to patients and the service simply would not have been possible without the amazing support of our volunteer coordinators whose support I am so grateful for”.

“The service aimed to meet the needs of each and every patient we came into contact with and I am proud to say that every query has been more than met since we opened our doors.”