Closure of Phlebotomy drive-thru clinic

Our Phlebotomy Drive-thru clinic closed today, 31st July 2020.

In the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and government advice for vulnerable patients to be shielding at home, BGPA designed a progressive and pioneering drive-thru phlebotomy service at Beckenham Beacon. It was imperative that this important group of patients should not be put at increased risk from busy waiting rooms and that their on going health needs were not deferred due to their isolation. This service was designed to ensure that shielding patients could continue to have urgent investigations and medication monitoring blood tests that their GP felt they needed.

We were proud to commence the service on 4th May, at the height of the UK coronavirus pandemic and with support fro Beckenham beacon and the CCG. The first phlebotomy clinic was instituted within 2 weeks of the idea’s conception. Our excellent phlebotomists operate the clinic 5 days a week and it has been very well utilised by Bromley residents.

We are delighted that the feedback from users has been excellent, with 96% of patients responding that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the service they received. Patients were seen in less than 10 minutes 99% of the time and 98% of patients would recommend the service to others. In total we saw 2086 patients and our utilisation rate was 95%.

We continued to try and optimise the service and will take individual feedback seriously. This includes ensuring that the service is easily accessible, both with regards booking an appointment, as well as navigating reversing out of the parking bay!

“Great way to have a blood test! Felt much safer as well, instead of waiting in a surgery among other potentially ill people. Thoroughly recommend it!”

“Fantastic service, was put at ease as it was the first time I had been out for months due to shielding”

“Very professional, courteous and with a smile”

“It was fantastic!!! Wish it continues for the future with out without coronavirus!!! So efficient!”

The drive through at Beckenham Beacon car park has been successful in providing a blood testing option for many individuals who were shielding or with suspected symptoms of Covid-19. The clinic was staffed by a single phlebotomist who was supported by the team at Bromley GP Alliance to install and remove the gazebo that housed the clinic every day. The phlebotomist kept the clinic running through often inclement weather and whilst they are still going strong the gazebo they stood under has faired less well.

The circumstances in which the drive-through clinic was set up have now changed. With restrictions on shielded patients relaxing in August the main purpose of the clinic has been removed. The urgency created by the pandemic allowed the CCG and providers to think innovatively and quickly on a number of projects including the drive-through. Whereas temporary solutions can be implemented at a time of crisis for a short period, these are not always sustainable long term and further thought will now be given to make mobile services more resilient.

A licence to use the car park was granted for a three month period due to limited parking availability on the site. Rather than seek a new licence from the landlord to operate in the limited space that is available at Beckenham Beacon the CCG have started discussions on proposals to invest in more resilient mobile structures and scoping other venues in the borough. The CCG anticipate the need to be able to provide flexible and mobile phlebotomy services again, and perhaps for further testing and vaccination programmes during the winter, so there may be a return of this kind of service in the near future.


 

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