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New Drive-Through Spirometry Service Started at Trust

New Drive-Through Spirometry Service Started at Trust

Date of release: 25 February 2021

A new drive-through spirometry service has been created to test patients with breathing difficulties, increasing testing capacity by over 200 per cent. 

Based at New Cross Hospital, the service allows patients to undergo lung function tests from the comfort of their vehicle. The test measures how much air a person breathes out, and helps to identify conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Latest News: New Drive-Through Spirometry Service Started at Trust
Drive-through spirometry service in action with Mohammed Khan, Assistant Respiratory Physiologist, and a patient.

The aim of the service, which started last month, is to raise capacity to clear a number of delayed tests from March to November 2020. As lung function tests were deemed high risk/aerosol generating procedures, the testing capacity of the Respiratory Centre significantly reduced, meaning a one-hour wait between patients to allow for cleaning and to ensure the next patient’s safety. The introduction of the new service should see the delayed tests cleared by the end of June 2021.

Located on the Appleby car park, opposite the Heart and Lung Centre car park, the spirometry drive-through hub contains enough space to park two cars under cover as well as an office. Advantages of the service include a reduction in Personal Protective Equipment worn by staff compared to testing indoors, as they are outside. In addition, patients do not have to pay to park, reducing the time spent on site.

Pete Moxon, Chief Respiratory Physiologist, said: “This service is successful because we can deploy it not only in an ad-hoc, reactive way to tackle urgent clinical demand, but we can also safely tackle the lung function tests. We would also like to thank our Estates Department for making this happen so quickly.”

Prior to opening the drive-through spirometry service the Trust could only perform 23 lung function tests per week, which is a huge drop in the organisation’s pre-COVID-19 testing capacity. With the introduction of the drive-through service, 75 patients per week can now be tested, which is a 226 per cent increase in capacity. This figure is expected to rise further as the weather improves.

The introduction of this innovative service follows the successful drive-through pacemaker testing and swabbing which started in July on car park P2, underneath the old Accident and Emergency (A&E) entrance.


Notes to Editor

  • For further information, please call Tim Nash on 01902 447297 or email tim.nash2@nhs.net
Press release issued by the Communications team. For more information contact the team on 01902 695884
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