Table 2. Measures taken by practices to make face-to-face contact possible
Measures taken by practicesa Examples
Physical zoningAreas of buildings (‘red zones’) used only for suspected COVID-19 patients.Areas of buildings (‘green zones’) used only for patients not suspected of having COVID-19.
Temporal zoningShielded patients seen first thing in the morning, before any other patients enter the building.
Building modifications
One-way systemsRoutes within practices that avoid staff and patients meeting in corridors where distancing cannot be maintained.
Use of multiple entrances and exitsSide entrances used for access to ‘red zone’, minimising interaction between suspected COVID-19 patients and other patients, and reducing the amount of space necessary to create red zones.
Repurposed spacesStripping bare clinic rooms for easier cleaning and semi-permanent changes to buildings (new flooring to expand clinical spaces, new walls to divide larger clinical rooms).
Home visits
Home visitsShielded or vulnerable patients visited by GPs and nurses, for acute and routine care.
Outside spaces
Use of practice car parks or gardensSections of car parks used as waiting or treatment areas.
Rationalising appointment processes
Longer appointmentsAdding 5 minutes before and after treatment-room appointments to allow staff to change into PPE beforehand and clean room afterwards.
Consolidation of face-to-face tasksOpportunistically doing patients’ blood tests or reviews of long-term conditions if they visit the practice for other reasons.
Segmentation of reviews of long-term conditionsConducting only essential physical exams or observations face to face, then completing review remotely.
  • aThis table is derived from the interview data and summarises the various measures that were described by staff. PPE = personal protective equipment.