Preston North End have teamed up with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to deliver a weekly drive through anticoagulant service for vulnerable patients in the local area.
The initiative will ensure that selected patients, who would normally attend a busy out-patient clinic to monitor their warfarin levels, will be tested without leaving their vehicle.
The new service is a great example of how innovative methods can be introduced to ensure the area’s most vulnerable can continue to access services while maintaining their isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Patients will attend the drive through to have their INR (International Normalised Ratio) test on their blood. Once tested, from the comfort and isolation of their vehicle, patients can leave safe in the knowledge that their current treatment plan is satisfactory and, if the results are abnormal, direct intervention can be made.
The clinic is available each week on the club’s Sir Tom Finney car park and patients eligible to attend the clinic will have been notified.
Ben Rhodes, PNE’s club secretary and head of communications, said: “Preston North End are proud to be able to support the NHS again by providing the Sir Tom Finney car park and foyer to be used for this testing facility.
"With the Invincibles Pavilion's lounges already in use for training relating to COVID-19, this is another way we can assist with the ongoing crisis and are delighted to provide the ability for this important work to continue amidst the issues.”
Martin Myers, Consultant Clinical Biochemist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Firstly, I would also like to extend my thanks to Preston North End Football Club for their fantastic support during these uncertain times.
“After conversations with our anti-coagulation Nurse, Rachel Wilkinson, and our Lead Biomedical Scientist in Haematology, Steve Hambridge, on how to support our vulnerable patients, we came up with the idea of setting up a pop-up drive through INR testing service using hand held point of care testing devices.
“Named patients are invited to these mobile clinics and given a timed slot for testing. The patient drives through our diagnostic clinic and we take a single blood drop from the patient’s finger and measure their INR while they wait.
“This new service is part of our Laboratory Anywhere approach to diagnostic testing, where, for certain patients, we take the laboratory to the patient.”