December 11, 2023

RISING cases of Strep A are adding pressure to a health centre in Worcester forcing them to only accept urgent appointments. 

Barbourne Health Centre, in Droitwich Road, is facing extreme demand today (Tuesday) after receiving increased demand for appointments from patients. 

One patient was left feeling frustrated after they were unable to make an appointment at the centre this morning.  

Worcester News: Worcester GP reveals how to spot Strep A infection STREP A: Worcester GP reveals which symptoms to look out for (Image: The Press) 1/2Worcester GP reveals how to spot Strep A infection STREP A: Worcester GP reveals which symptoms to look out for (Image: The Press) 1/2 (Image: Strep A)

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However, the healthcare centre has not only seen the usual annual increase in patients but this year there is the added concerns due to Strep A. 

A spokesperson for Barbourne Health Centre said: “At this time of year, we tend to see an increase in demand for primary care appointments due to the colder weather and more winter illnesses in circulation.

“The added concern from parents about Strep A has understandably even further increased requests for appointments over the past week.

“Like all GP practices, there is a high demand for appointments, we do unfortunately sometimes have to prioritise those that are most urgent.

“Parents and carers who have concerns about Strep A are encouraged to visit in the first instance, where they will learn more about symptoms to look for, when to seek medical help and what to do in an emergency.”

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A patient, who rang the practice this morning, said: “Barbourne Health Centre is not accepting any appointments today.

“I spent 20 mins trying to get through to reception to be told only urgent appointments, all appointments cancelled.

“Very frustrating.

“I don’t blame the reception team.

“They told me they were asked to inform everyone trying to make an appointment they were unavailable and try again another day.”

READ MORE: Strep A infections – Worcester GP reveals how to spot them

What is Strep A?

In most cases, Strep A causes a mild infection which includes a sore throat and can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

And most patient symptoms are mild and include a sore throat, coughing and sneezing.  

Jason Seewoodhary, a Worcester GP now based at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “Strep A is a bacteria sometimes found in the throat or on the skin.

“Strep A can cause scarlet fever characterised by a skin rash that feels like sandpaper, flu-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, a “strawberry appearance” to the tongue, and swollen neck glands.”


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