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Local volunteers drive GPs to essential home visits in Crawley

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Image: Dr Phoebe Danes and volunteer Chris Ball.

Local volunteers have stepped up to help drive clinicians to home visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was launched by local GP federation Alliance for Better Care, who have rented black cabs to provide essential transport for clinicians attending patients’ homes. 

The taxis, which have been adapted to make them easier to clean, are driven by volunteer drivers who have come forward via various community Facebook groups.

Thanks to the layout of the cab, drivers are completely separated from the clinician who is also afforded extra space in the cab to put on PPE and write up notes. 

Matt Cullis, practice manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said:

“Our surgery is still open to treat patients, however, home visits have become particularly important for those who are shielding and not wanting to leave their homes. This service saves us time and allows our doctors to travel to appointments in an environment that can be easily cleaned and has room to put on PPE.”

Alliance for Better Care is the GP federation for Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey and so far the project has been rolled out at Leacroft Surgery in Crawley and throughout Burgess Hill, with plans to extend it to East Grinstead and Horley in the coming weeks.

Katherine Saunders, ABC chief executive said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have come forward and we’d like to thank them all for offering to support this service. We are, of course, committed to protecting both our volunteers and our clinicians. We insure drivers and carry out all necessary checks while also providing PPE. This is a valuable resource for our clinicians, and increases our capacity to reach more patients.”

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Crawley residents given chance to question police & leaders over towns issues

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Crawley residents are being given the chance to pose questions to Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, Chief Inspector Shane Baker (District Commander for Crawley & Mid Sussex), Henry Smith MP, and Ashwin Soni of the Crawley Interfaith Network. 

Questions can be about any issue relating to policing in Sussex but should avoid mentioning specific cases which cannot be publicly discussed. 

Written questions must be submitted by midnight on Friday 30 October to give enough preparation time ahead of the live discussion. 

Mrs Bourne said;

“This is an opportunity for Crawley residents’ voices to be heard. We know that reports of anti-social behaviour, business crime and even serious organised crime, have risen over the last year so I hope that residents will actively engage with this event. 

“The diversity of the Crawley community is something to be celebrated and we don’t want anybody to feel overlooked in this discussion. 

“If you are living in the Crawley area and would like to raise a concern, please submit a question. I want to hear what you have to say and have brought together a panel that will be able to hopefully answer your queries and offer some reassurance.”

Questions can be submitted in writing to pcc@sussex-pcc.gov.uk.

The meeting will be held virtually, starting at 11.00am on Friday 13 November and will be webcast live here: https://sussex-pcc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

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