With access to hospitals and clinics a challenge during the coronavirus pandemic, some patients have struggled to get the treatment they need during lockdown. To help provide patients with access to kidney blood testing, Lewisham Shopping Centre has welcomed mobile testing clinics to its premises.
Helping more than 900 people in the local area to date, the initiative began at the beginning of April and was prompted by an inquiry for space via local Ward Councillor Pat Codd to help alleviate pressure on the local hospitals. The mobile kidney blood testing clinics are located inside the service deck at the centre every Tuesday morning.
Lewisham Shopping Centre has already facilitated several initiatives throughout lockdown, including designated opening times for the NHS and the elderly at its M&S and Sainsbury’s stores, as well as the Rainbows for the NHS campaign.
Paul Redden Centre Director at Lewisham Shopping Centre commented: “We know the last few months have been challenging for everyone, so we’re pleased to have been able to welcome the mobile blood testing clinics to Lewisham Shopping Centre to help the local community. The initiative has been a success so far, with hundreds of patients helped and we’re looking to potentially make the mobile testing clinics a permanent addition at the centre in the future.”
Dr Kate Bramham at Kings’ College Hospital Foundation Trust commented: “We cannot thank Lewisham Shopping Centre enough for allowing the Blood Vans to be on site over the last few months; they’ve been a real lifeline for our patients throughout lockdown and have undoubtedly saved lives by allowing people to feel safe enough to attend blood tests. As a result, we have been able to provide over 900 blood tests for our vulnerable and shielding patients. Everyone I have spoken to about the mobile service have made a particular point of saying how lovely the team are, and how convenient it is to have blood taken close to home. Lots of patients have also asked if they can continue to use the mobile service once lockdown ends because they love it so much.”
Since reopening in June, Lewisham Shopping Centre has introduced a number of safety measures to keep shoppers safe including hand sanitiser points throughout the centre, a one way system to ensure social distancing can be maintained, floor stickers and signs to remind guests to keep the required distance apart and a queuing system for entry to the centre.