The NHS is using an empty shop at Birmingham New Street station as an outpatient clinic, so that patients may have routine blood tests away from hospital.
Network Rail is making a former retail unit available for the next six months, to help alleviate pressure on Midlands hospitals as they deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The temporary phlebotomy clinic will be staffed by the University Hospitals Birmingham trust and tests will only be carried out by appointment.
The NHS believes that moving some outpatient services, such as routine blood tests, out of busy hospitals will prevent healthy people from encountering patients who are already sick with Coronavirus.
Birmingham New Street station manager Patrick Power said: “We’re doing everything we can to support the NHS in this unprecedented time, so offering up this empty retail unit was a real no-brainer.
“The clinic being based in the Midlands’ largest transport hub means it will be extremely easy for people to travel to, should a routine blood test be advised by their doctor. With some train services being reduced, however, I’d advise people to check www.nationalrail.co.uk daily to check the time of their train.
“I’d also like to reassure passengers that we are following all of Public Health England’s guidelines to keep people safe and continue to regularly deep clean the station to stop the spread of coronavirus.”
Dr David Rosser, CEO, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust has made some important decisions, which will reduce the number of people attending our hospitals and community services in person.
“The aim is to limit footfall across our sites to ensure only the most acutely unwell inpatients, people who require emergency interventions and those with essential appointments, are on site, enabling those who do not need to attend to avoid unnecessary travel and exposure to a large healthcare setting.
“The new off-site clinic is one of the measures that will help ensure we can best meet the needs of our patients during a sustained period of pressure.”
For the latest NHS advice on coronavirus, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/