Sheffield Hospitals set up ‘drive through’ blood testing with the help of Sheffield Arena
09 April 2020
Laboratory and Phlebotomy teams at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have joined forces with Sheffield City Trust to set up a drive through blood test service so that vulnerable patients can have vital tests without going into the hospital and risking infection or breaking social distancing guidance.
The new service, which starts at 2pm on Wednesday (8th April) at Sheffield Arena, will enable some of the most vulnerable patients to have their blood tests using a ‘drive through’ option. Patients will be contacted by the hospital or their GP and given the choice of driving to the FlyDSA Arena car park where a large marquee has been set up. When it is their turn, the patient will drive into the marquee and be met by a specialist team to have their details checked and test requirements identified. They will then have their samples taken from the safety of their vehicle and once finished drive away. The results of the tests, once analysed, will be available to hospital clinicians or GPs via electronic reporting systems enabling continuation of patient treatment as normal.
Dr David Hughes, Medical Director, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:
“A lot of our patients have compromised immune systems which makes them even more susceptible to infections like COVID-19. However their medical treatment means they need to have regular blood tests. This is particularly an issue for our patients who have cancer or other auto immune conditions. The last thing we want is to bring those patients into a busy waiting area or put them into contact with other people if it is not absolutely necessary. The drive through blood testing service means we can continue to deliver this important part of their care without the risk of infection. Thanks to the support of the Fly DSA Arena, our teams have done an amazing job in developing the drive through blood test service in just a matter of days. In these unprecedented times our staff and partners are using their creativity and expertise to come up with different ways to enable us to continue delivering the care people need wherever it is safe and appropriate to do so. It is incredible team work. If the service works well, we hope to increase the number of patients who can use it and offer it to GPs for their patients who need regular blood tests too.”
For patients who cannot use the drive through service, we will continue to provide blood tests at the Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals but with additional measures in place to limit the risk of transmission of infection.
Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Trust: “As the health and wellbeing charity, the people of Sheffield are at the heart of everything we do. We are delighted to have made our arena car park facilities available to the NHS and ensure vulnerable patients can continue to receive treatment safely. Since deciding to close our venues, we’ve been proactive in finding ways to support Sheffield. We will continue to stand ready to work with Sheffield City Council and the NHS to offer our help wherever possible.”
If patients are due to have a blood test this week or in coming weeks, they do not need to contact the hospital. Patients who can be offered the alternative drive though service will be informed by the hospital. All other patients should continue to attend their usual location for their blood test at the moment until we get the drive through service established.