A special clinical Hub has been set up to help people who urgently need to see a doctor during the coronavirus pandemic.

The hub, based at Clitheroe Community Hospital, houses core staff along with a treatment room service, and will deal with urgent enquiries while routine appointments and non-urgent appointments are postponed.

Patients in the Ribble Valley who require a face-to-face consultation will initially be vetted by a care navigator and GP before it is deemed necessary to arrange an appointment.

Clinical Director at Ribblesdale Primary Care Network Dr Russell Robb said: "If patients are deemed to require a face-to-face consultation or indeed if there is an urgent need for a home visit for someone that is housebound, then this will be facilitated by the doctors based in the Hub.

"I appreciate that these are hugely stressful times with the forthcoming weeks likely to place further strain on our health care system and community.

"Rest assured that if you have a medical problem, this will be addressed albeit perhaps in a slightly different way initially but if you need to see a doctor, this is still possible."

In a statement on the Castle Medical Group's website, Dr Robb said the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic is putting NHS services under considerable pressure due to an increasing number of patients contracting the virus.

He said: "General Practice across East Lancashire has been working tirelessly to ensure that systems and processes are in place to protect those who are most vulnerable whilst also maintaining a good quality service for patients who have medical problems unrelated to the pandemic.

"General Practice services in Ribblesdale have been curtailed in the last few weeks in line with government policy to help reduce patient contact and hopefully reduce the spread of COVID 19.

"Routine appointments have therefore been affected most and medical problems which are not deemed urgent have been postponed.

"Currently any enquiries into General Practices are vetted initially by our care navigators but if necessary is then passed on to GP’s who either utilise a video or telephone consultation."

Dispensing patients will have medications either delivered to their doors or dropped off at a centralised community location.

The Clitheroe Dispensary is using Clitheroe Pharmacy as a drop off location for repeat prescriptions and for collection.

For more information visit castlemedical.co.uk/covid-19-advice/