Coronavirus outbreak at Smethwick GP surgery

Published 4th October 2020

Sandwell Council, Public Health England (Midlands) and Sandwell & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group have been notified of a coronavirus outbreak at Bearwood Road Surgery, Smethwick.

To date, three positive COVID-19 cases have emerged among the practice's non-clinical staff. 

It was agreed at a meeting yesterday that there would be no access to the surgery building for 14 days to stop any further spread of the virus. 

However all patient services will continue, with no change to virtual appointments and information about alternative arrangements for face-to-face appointments available on the Bearwood Road Surgery website or by calling the surgery.

The building will reopen on 17 October following a deep clean. 

People who have had direct contact with the infected staff have been informed and given appropriate advice. The risk to patients has been assessed as low.

Dr Ian Sykes, Chair of the Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG said: “We would like to assure local people that all NHS health services remain safe and open.
  
“The temporary closure of the Bearwood Road Surgery building is a precautionary measure and arrangements are being made to ensure services to patients continue.”

Dr Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health for Sandwell said “It is vital that all organisations have an obligation to follow COVID-19 guidance.

“Social distancing and the prompt isolation at home of anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms remains crucial."

Dr Paramanathan, a GP at Bearwood Road Surgery, said: “A number of our staff are self-isolating due to COVID-19 and as a result we have temporarily closed the surgery to immediately carry out a deep clean. 

“We are still taking telephone calls and will continue to operate services via telephone and video appointment. 

“Patients who require face-to-face appointments will be seen safely at another local surgery. 

“Patients who need urgent medical care, should contact us for an appointment in the usual way or if urgent please call NHS 111.

“The decision to take this step has been clinically-led, and is supported by partners across the wider health and care system.”

This comes at a time when coronavirus infection rates in Smethwick are very high and the local population is advised to be particularly careful to follow COVID-19 guidance.

Nobody should have visitors from outside their household to their home, except for essential visitors like carers.

Social gatherings should be avoided and social distancing should be maintained at all times.

Face coverings must be worn in shops and on public transport.