29/04/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Shropshire’s buses help transport people to county’s assessment centres

Related topics: Coronavirus / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council’s passenger transport team is working with the county’s main health bodies to help people get to the coronavirus assessment centres in Shrewsbury and Telford.

The assessment centres are at Shrewsbury Town Football Club, and Telford International Centre.

The council has been working with the Shropshire CCG and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) to provide transport for people with COVID-19 symptoms who need to attend the assessment centres, but have no alternative transport.

Bespoke vehicles are being sourced from local companies, and are being leased on behalf of the CCG.

A booking system has been developed which will see the 50 medical practices that use the Shrewsbury assessment centre contacting the council’s passenger transport staff, who will then deploy the appropriate vehicle.

In the coming days the same service will also be provided to the assessment centre in Telford.

The service is following protocols created in conjunction with Infection Control at SaTH.

Meanwhile, Shropshire Council has also been in discussions with the CCG about the deployment of specialist vehicles that can take clinical staff to potential COVID-19 patients for assessment, rather than transporting them to the assessment centres. These vehicles will enable the clinical staff to safely dispose of PPE within secure compartments within the vehicle, which has the addition of a separate bulkhead to ensure the risk of infection to the driver is minimal.

The assessment centre in Shrewsbury

The assessment centre in Shrewsbury. Photo: Shropshire CCG.

Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“It’s vitally important that people with COVID-19 symptons are able to get assessed as quickly as possible, and I’m really pleased that we can make use of our vacant buses to enable people without transport to access the county’s two coronavirus assessment centres.

“We’ve been working really closely with our colleagues at CCG and SaTH. Our discussions have been really positive and constructive and their support has enabled us to quickly put this service into practice. I’d like to thank the council’s passenger transport staff, and staff at the CCG and SaTH for their help in making this service possible.”

To assist in the creation of the Shrewsbury COVID-19 assessment centre, buses were also used to collect a number of items from local medical practices and schools which were required at the site.

And Shropshire Council recently used some of its fleet of vehicles to collect a large supply of urgent PPE from Birmingham City Council which will be utilised within Shropshire.
The assessment centre is strictly appointment-only, for patients who have been directed there by their GP practice.

About the assessment centres

The drive-through assessment centres in Shrewsbury and Telford provide face-to-face assessments for suspected coronavirus patients, and has been designed and implemented by the NHS CCGs.

The Shrewsbury assesment centre is based in the Shrewsbury Town Football Club stadium car park (off Oteley Road) and will be operating Monday to Friday, including Bank Holidays, between 8am and 7pm.

The Telford assessment centre is based at Telford International Centre

Tests for coronavirus will not take place at the sites, but people who are suspected of having the virus, who are feeling very unwell and require medical attention will be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals from their vehicles or in temporary clinical rooms, as appropriate.

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