Community assessment hubs providing clinical advice on the COVID-19 pandemic are now up and running across Tayside.
Stations at Kings Cross Hospital in Dundee and Perth Royal Infirmary are now open, with a third in Angus due to launch soon.
The hubs will provide patients with access to advice and support about the coronavirus, while easing the pressure on GP practices. There will be no testing carried out at the centres.
Patients seeking support should phone NHS24 on 111 if their symptoms have worsened or do not improve after seven days.
They will then be assessed, and if necessary, will be transferred to a local community hub to ensure they are receiving the best possible advice.
Patients may than be asked to attend their local assessment centre or given advice to help them self-isolate at home.
Anyone asked to attend the assessment hub will drive into a covered area and will be examined in their car by a clinician wearing personal protective equipment. Following this, they will be given the most appropriate advice for them which may include treatment.
Dr Jane Bruce, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care Services with NHS Tayside said the testing centres would help take pressure off GPs.
She said: “It is important that people follow the guidance and only attend the centres if they have been given an appointment through NHS24. These are not walk in centres and no patient testing is taking place. Contacting NHS24 will ensure you get the quickest access to the safest care.
“These assessment centres will play a vital role by taking pressure off our very busy GPs to allow them to focus on everyday problems in their surgeries that are not COVID-19 related.”
Dr Bruce added: “Patients should be reassured that we are working closely with our colleagues in secondary care to ensure that everyone gets the care and treatment they need.
“I am extremely proud of the team work in Tayside that has allowed these assessment centres to be set up in just nine days. I would like to thank all the staff involved in making this happen so quickly and efficiently.”