Work began on a new drive-through facility at NDDH in December. We are excited to share that this is now open, and the first patients have been using it.
Cardiology patients now have the ability to collect heart-monitoring equipment and have spirometry tests (which measures how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath) without having to leave their cars.
Our drive-through has been carefully designed to be both safe and convenient for patients, and with all the necessary facilities for staff, including shelter from the weather.
Patients simply make an appointment with the team, drive to the facility in the main car park and are directed to a lane, where their equipment is handed over by a cardiographer. There is no parking charge for patients using the drive-through.
Sally Anne Pester, clinical lead, cardio-respiratory (pictured), said: “The cardio-respiratory department are truly excited to be back out in the car park! During the first lockdown we issued heart monitors to patients in their cars, this meant that vulnerable patients still had access to the cardiac diagnostic services but kept safe. The weather, as we all remember, was beautiful with warm sunny days, and then lockdown ended and the rain came!
“The cardiographers are hardy individuals, but, much like Gremlins, don’t like to be soaked. So, we were first in line to support this innovative project delivering ambulatory monitors and performing spirometry tests for the patients of Northern Devon in a covered space, thus reducing footfall in NDDH.”
Patient Bob Barnard, from Northam, was one of the first patients to use the drive-through facility, to collect heart monitor equipment from cardiographer Chloe Morley.
He said he had used the facility before, to collect items for his brother. He welcomed the introduction of the drive-through. “Anything which means you don’t have to actually go into the hospital is a good thing,” he said.
Other services are also due to start soon, including a phlebotomy service (taking blood for tests).
The drive-through provides an alternative way to access these services. For those who don’t drive, the services are still available in the NDDH building.