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The First Aid Unit, run by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) Specialist Practitioners from the Chipping Norton Health Centre, was temporarily closed in March as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission from people dropping in to use the service.

From today (11 August), the service will return as the Chipping Norton Integrated Primary Care Service – operating from 5pm-9pm Monday-Friday and 10am-9pm weekends and bank holidays. The service will remain based at the Chipping Norton Health Centre and will continue to be run by SCAS Specialist Practitioners.

Mike Lowe, Specialist Practitioner Manager, at SCAS, said:

“We have been working hard with our partners at the Chipping Norton Health Centre and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to bring back this valuable out-of-hours urgent care service for local people. I am delighted that the service is able to operate safely again, though with one or two changes in place to maintain patient and staff safety in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic.

“As well as the change in name, patients now need to book an appointment over the phone. This ensures that we don’t have a situation where there could be a number of patients waiting in the small waiting area, which increases the risk of possible Covid-19 transmission.”

To book an appointment:

Call 01608 642 742 – Monday-Friday before 5pm only

Call 01608 648 831 – Monday-Friday after 5pm and weekends/bank holidays

The first four appointments of every session can be booked in advance by staff at the health centre; after that the calls are answered by the specialist practitioner on duty. If the specialist practitioner is unable to answer the telephone due to being with a patient at the time of the call, the caller will hear an answerphone message which will recommend calling 111 – or, in an emergency – 999.

Mike Lowe added: “I would ask patients from the local area wanting to use the service to please bear with us as we all adapt to this new way of working. Whilst we can no longer offer a drop-in service, we continue to explore options with our partners to develop the booking system further and hope to make another announcement in that regard shortly. If you are unable to speak to the specialist practitioner on duty immediately, do please try calling again a few minutes later.”

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