As part of the Covid-19 national response, Diagnostic Healthcare (DHC) is working with a number of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), including South Cheshire and Vale Royal to deliver community based ultrasound services for urgent and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) patients.
At the end of March, national guidance was issued by NHS England (NHSE) to cease all routine outpatient primary care appointments. NHSE said all urgent appointments, including those relating to DVT patients, should continue to be undertaken in hospitals.
The volume of people requiring urgent medical appointments has not reduced, but patients have been more reluctant to seek medical help, due to fears over contracting Covid-19 and not wanting to be a burden to the NHS during the pandemic.
Three CCGs – North East Essex, Cheshire and Walsall – wanted to maintain a primary care front line service operating from GP surgeries, minimising the Covid-19 risk to patients and also reducing pressures on local hospitals.
Working in partnership with each CCG, DHC mobilised an ultrasound service at the beginning of April to service the network of GP practices in each area. The service for urgent and DVT ultrasound appointments ran for the whole of April, providing a flexible service for patients to access.