TWO more 24-hour coronavirus hubs could be set up across the borough.

A suite on the ground floor of Radcliffe Primary Care Centre could be turned into a COVID Management Service like the one at Prestwich Walk-In Centre.

Another hub could be set up in the north of the borough, but a specific location has not yet been identified.

Dr Jeff Schryer, chair of Bury NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG), said that health authorities are preparing for the worse, but hoping for the best.

He said: “The COVID service is quite active in Prestwich. We are looking at two further sites in Radcliffe and in the north of the borough.

“We’ve identified an area in the Radcliffe health centre that we could keep separate. It has a separate entrance and all the facilities we would need.”

Both Prestwich and Moorgate walk-in centres closed to the public on March 20 as a “temporary” measure to help the fight against coronavirus.

Prestwich Walk-In Centre is now being used as a COVID Management Service.

But Moorgate Primary Care Centre, where the walk-in facility in Bury town centre is based, will be used to see patients who do not have coronavirus.

Dr Schryer was asked whether Bury patients might be sent to the temporary hospital planned at the Manchester Central Convention Centre, formerly known as the GMEX.

He said: “The formal details of the GMEX Nightingale Hospital are still being worked out.

“To my understanding it is more of a halfway house between hospitals and community services. Some form of hospital care for people who don’t need intensive care beds.”

Health authorities are now trying to free up hospital beds and seeing patients within their communities instead, according to Dr Schryer.

He said: “Most people with coronavirus will stay at home. They will have a rough few days but will recover.

“Around 20 per cent will require medical interventions. Some will be seen in primary care and some people will need admission to hospital.

“Fairfield General Hospital is absolutely ramping up its ability to deal with patients.

“Over the weekend they have discharged patients into the community with full packages of support.

“That’s allowed them to tremendously increase the number of critical care beds that they have .

“In a crisis, it’s safer for patients to be in the community bearing in mind there’s coronavirus in the hospital.”

The CCG and the borough’s health care providers are redeploying staff to where they are needed most.

Dr Schryer said that health authorities are looking at providing services in a “very different way”.

He said: “All of our GP providers are offering video and telephone consultation.

“There’s lots of examples of sharing skills between primary and social care.

“This is tremendously stressful for all our staff. We have recently set up a mental health support service for staff which is called Silver Cloud.

“From next week, we hope to be able to offer something out to the community of Bury in terms of an online service for people struggling to cope.

“We all recognise that it’s a very scary time for people. People are out of routine. A lot of people will be concerned about their livelihoods and their physical wellbeing. They have to cope with being at home which can be stressful. We all recognise that’s going to lead to a lack of wellbeing.”