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News > Mill Hill & COVID-19 > Dr Varma- Parent on the frontline

Dr Varma- Parent on the frontline

Amita Varma, Belmont and Grimsdell Parent, is a GP working on the frontline seeing patients with symptoms of COVID-19
Dr Varma and her team
Dr Varma and her team
As we all know and are experiencing, COVID-19 has led to huge changes in the way we are currently living. Life as a GP has also changed. We have had to shift our consultations from face to face contact, to speaking to patients by phone or via video consultation. It’s a different way of consultation and may feel safer, but I long to see a patient sitting in front of me, having the opportunity to get to know them better, pick up on subtle cues that are easy to miss by remote consultation.
 
Patients that needed to be seen for urgent review were brought in to the practice into an allocated isolation room. We wore PPE to see these patients. However, there was lots of discussion as to whether this was safe enough, staff were understandably nervous. There was also guidance that boroughs should consider establishing a dedicated ‘hot service’ where patients with covid symptoms could be seen. 
 
Working with our local federation, IGPF, and commissioners, my practice site has become the ‘hot service’ for Islington. This has taken a lot of work but was something that we were passionate about doing. It has meant that my practice has had to relocate - it’s like moving house! The team at the practice has been fantastic and utterly supportive. We’ve had a lovely neighbouring practice kindly offer to house us. And whilst my partners continue to run the practice, I have taken on the clinical lead role at the hot service. 
 
With the clinical and administration support of the federation, the hot service launched only last week on Saturday 18th. There has been intense training around infection control and PPE but worth it as I don’t feel unprotected at all seeing patients with covid symptoms. Although these aren’t the greatest circumstances, I’m enjoying being part of this service and going out there to visit patients again. Patients are so appreciative and that makes it feel worthwhile.
 
 

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