Doncaster boxing champ Terri Harper joins fight to save drive thru blood test centre
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The drive-through phlebotomy service, provided by NHS South Yorkshire Doncaster Place and delivered by colleagues at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals outside the Eco Power Stadium, will cease operations as of 5pm on Friday 24 November.
It was introduced during the Covid pandemic to make blood testing easier – but health chiefs now want to return testing to Doncaster Royal Infirmary as well as in the community.
However, the proposal has met with opposition, with the boxer joining Don Valley Conservative MP Nick Fletcher and locals, who have set up the petition, fighting to keep it open.
Revealing a ‘quick visit’ she said: “We really need to save this service for the people of Doncaster,” and has urged people to sign the petition HERE
Organisers of the petition said: “This invaluable service has been in place since May 2020 to initially help ease pressures and ensure patients could obtain the necessary blood tests during the pandemic.
"The innovative service has since evolved into a service not only for vulnerable patients but also one that is relied on by a wide range of patient groups and in some cases family members/carers.
"These groups include those with mobility issues who are unable to leave their vehicle with ease, full time workers who can plan a visit for their test during their lunch break/before work starts , disabled and vulnerable patients who feel more comfortable in their own environment without attending a busy, clinical area and patients who want to obtain their blood test at their convenience with no appointment necessary.
“Immediate action is required to ensure the drive through service remains to allow patients to attend without delay to their testing.”
Meanwhile, Conservative MP Nick Fletcher has also called for the plan to be scrapped and said: “I have asked for a review of the decision to close down the Eco Power site.
"I truly hope that the decision will be reversed. It is a very popular and well used service which relieves pressure on doctors surgeries and the DRI.”
A spokesman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “In response for the need, at that time, for safe, minimal contact medical services, the temporary drive-thru phlebotomy service was introduced, allowing patients to have their blood samples collected without entering hospital premises and as an alternative to community appointments.
“Hospital phlebotomy services will be consolidated within the Outpatients area of DRI – in addition to services at Bassetlaw and Montagu hospitals - whilst blood testing will continue to be delivered at GP practices.
“The change is part of a larger strategic, operational, and budgetary decision, and signals a return, largely, to business as usual for the local NHS, following the pandemic.
“Importantly, all GP practices in the borough have continued to provide blood test appointments throughout the pandemic for those patients who preferred, or otherwise needed to have this done closer to home.”
Dr Nabeel Alsindi, Medical Director for South Yorkshire Integrated Care System, said: “After three very successful years, the temporary phlebotomy service at the Eco-Power Stadium will cease operations, as we return to pre-pandemic arrangements.
“From Monday 28 November, local people continue to have the option of having their bloods taken closer to home at their GP practice, or instead at the hospital. We will be communicating with all colleagues concerned to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible for our patients.”
In the coming weeks patients under the direct care of DBTH will receive correspondence from the Trust, highlighting alternative arrangements, while all individuals attending the drive-thru will also made aware of the change.
Any questions or concerns can be raised at https://syics.co.uk/contact-us