COVID Medical Assessment Centre

COVID Assessment Centre Patient Information Video - Subtitles available via YouTube subtitles.

For more information on the Medical Assessment Centre, please see below.

What is the Medical Assessment Centre at Waterside, and which authority is running it? 

Understandably given the media interest in COVID-19 testing and government statistics, most people we’ve spoken to are under the impression that the centre on site is a testing centre – myth! The service instead provides a safe area for assessment of Northampton patients who are moderately unwell and at risk of hospital admission with COVID-19 symptoms, requiring face-to-face consultation, assessment and treatment, taking pressure off A&E services. General Practice Alliance, a federation of local GP practices is running the service on behalf of six Primary Care Networks, consisting of 25 Northampton practices across the town

Can anyone turn up to the centre? 

The drive-thru style assessment centre is not a walk-in venue and patients are only able to attend after a referral from their GP. They must attend by car. Anyone isolating with COVID-19 symptoms should first visit the NHS 111 website at for advice and information, but if they have an urgent medical concern – whether coronavirus related or not – they should call their GP practice in the usual way. If their GP thinks they need to visit the assessment centre they will be told what they need to do, where to go and when. 

What happens at the centre?

Patients attending the assessment centre will have their oxygen saturation levels measured, as well as their respiratory rate, and temperature, recorded by a Practice Nurse or Healthcare Assistant.  They are then assessed by a GP o
r Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Their clinical presentation is discussed with a Control GP, based off-site but connected via online conferencing software, Microsoft Teams. The Control GP records in the clinical record and the patient is then either advised to return home and monitor their symptoms, given a prescription – sent electronically to a pharmacy of their choice – or admitted directly to the A&E department at Northampton General Hospital.

Who works at the centre? 

The centre is staffed by a core team, primarily consisting of General Practice Alliance employees.  We have a Receptionist, Service Manager, Clinical Lead Nurse, Operational Lead, Control GP and a Triage Doctor working each shift.  

As well as the core team, each shift is staffed with local Practice Nurses, GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Paramedic Practitioners, Healthcare Assistants and Foundation Doctors, who have all been released voluntarily from their practices.  

Mental Health &
Well Being

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Information and Guidance on the
Covid-19 Outbreak

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Find out more about
General Practice Alliance

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