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Hospital launches new mobile service for children

Last updated: 16/07/2020

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children has launched an innovative new service to overcome some of the pressure the coronavirus pandemic has put on day-to-day services.

The new Mobile Allergy Clinic (MAC) will provide 30-minute allergy testing appointments to children, offering a quick and easy alternative to those who otherwise would need to visit the hospital.

The new mobile treatment centre, which has been established in partnership with Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, will not only provide an efficient service for those who have been waiting for a test during lockdown, but will quickly be able to help the hospital resume the level of service offered prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

During lockdown, while children who have been referred to the allergy clinic were still able to have consultations with specialists via video call, they were not able to attend the hospital for their skin-prick tests.

The service will run for a 10-week period offering 30-minute consultations between 9am-5pm to begin with. The clinic will be hosted by The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and Ashton Gate Stadium on alternate weeks.

Deb Marriage, Consultant nurse for Allergy & Asthma, commented: “The Mobile Allergy Clinic offers a new way for us to provide the allergy testing service in a way that is both quick and efficient for patients. The mobile clinic allows us to quickly resume a service that has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and innovatively bring our services into the communities we serve. Everyone we have spoken to has been incredibly helpful and we have had lovely feedback from families.

“It is also fantastic to have the help and support of both The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and Ashton Gate to make this service easily accessible to children across the region and to help us get up and running so quickly.”

The new clinic helps to offer a COVID-secure environment as patients can remain in their cars as they wait to be seen, whilst the surfaces of the mobile clinic can also be cleaned between appointments.  

To ensure the clinic offers a friendly environment for the young patients, a naughty Feathers MrGraw will be hiding with the mobile clinic and Aardman films will be played on repeat.

Anna Shepherd, deputy director, The Grand Appeal added: “As we are all aware, this pandemic has put considerable pressure on the NHS and our colleagues at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.  

“For 25 years we have worked hand-in-hand with the hospital to help ensure they have everything they need to continue to provide the very best, pioneering service to babies and children across the region so we’re delighted to now help them make the Mobile Allergy Clinic a reality.”   

As the dedicated charity for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal runs a multi-million-pound portfolio of investment in partnership with the children’s hospital and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol.

Throughout lockdown, the charity has continued to provide its services to support the staff, families and patients navigating the coronavirus pandemic. These vital services have included the operation of three family accommodation facilities - to keep parents close to their children in hospital, while alternative accommodation has been closed – and providing the funding for ground-breaking research into the natural history of Covid-19.

For more information on Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal visit www.grandappeal.org.uk.