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Drive-thru Services the ‘New Normal’ at the RSCH

Published on: 4 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 5 Jun, 2020

Drive-thru services have been signposted since March

Drive-thru services are set to become the ‘new normal’ at the Royal Surrey, as patients are accessing services including blood tests and implanted cardiac device check-ups from the safety of their car.

Staff at the Guildford hospital have set up the innovative drive-thru clinics as a way to reduce the risk of infection to vulnerable patients and to allow them to receive safe and socially distanced care.

More signs to direct drive-thru patients

Many cardiac, maternity and phlebotomy appointments are now done solely by the drive-thru teams. Patients requiring prescriptions are also able to take advantage of a drive-thru pharmacy.

Nicola Montalbano, head of Cardiac Physiology at Royal Surrey, helped support the setup of the drive-thru service for cardiac device and ambulatory monitoring patients. The new arrangement will enable the highly specialist team to continue performing essential checks on pacemakers and monitor patients who may have irregular heartbeats.

Members of the cardiology team with Nicola Montalbano centre (hands behind her back)

Nicola said: “The service has been very well received by both staff and patients.

“Many patients have commented on how straightforward the process is, the safe feeling of staying in their car and the ability for them to continue to have their implanted device checked, providing reassurance.

“Since the launch of the service 247 patients have had their implanted cardiac device checked and 234 patients have received ambulatory heart monitors.”

Rebecca Lascelles, 25, an expectant mother from Alton, recently used the maternity drive-thru clinic to pick up her prescription and to have her blood taken. She commented on how simple the appointment was and said: “The staff were lovely and went through my notes to explain to me any concerns I had.

“Because I am pregnant, I am classed as vulnerable, so the fact that I could receive my care from the safety of my car was brilliant and put my mind at ease.

“Being able to have my check-up but stay out of the hospital was a bonus.”

A RSCH spokesperson added: “Although initially set up to combat the spread of Covid-19, these drive-thru appointments have many additional benefits. These include faster and more efficient appointments, less congestion in the hospital car park and the ability to free up clinical time for more complex cases.

“The drive-thru clinics will be available to patients for as long as needed to keep them and staff safe.”

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