First of a kind partnership supports patients ahead of surgery - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

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Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service provides home-based Covid-19 self-swabbing for patients

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals (WHH) has developed an innovative new partnership with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CRFS) to offer a Covid-19 self-swab at home for patients ahead of planned surgery.

So far, more than 300 patients who are required to self-isolate pre-surgery have benefitted from this service without having to leave their homes.

Cheshire Fire Service staff deliver the self-swab kit to the patient’s home, post it through the letterbox and wait while the swab is taken and safely re-packaged. This is then returned to the CFRS staff through the letterbox and the sample taken to the laboratory at Warrington Hospital. Once the result is confirmed, patients are contacted to discuss next steps on their planned surgery journey.

The pre-elective Covid-19 swabbing has been a critical element of ring-fencing the Halton Hospital site as ‘Covid Secure’ enabling elective procedures to restart and continue at pace through ‘Green Pathways’.

This innovative programme of work builds upon a strengthening partnership between the Trust and CFRS, which has already seen antenatal appointments offered at Safety Central in Lymm. CFRS has previously provided support to Warrington Borough Council and Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group to support those people who shielded at home during the early stages of the pandemic, including welfare wellbeing calls to shielded households as well as medication and food deliveries.

Consultant Cardiologist and Associate Medical Director for Unplanned Care Dr Ahmed Farag said:

“As we continue to deliver routine planned surgeries on our COVID-secure site at Halton it is important that we keep our patients and the wider hospital community safe from the impact of the pandemic. 

 “We are really proud to see how WHH is leading the way in exploring creative partnerships which build on a shared desire in both organisations to overcome challenges and do the best for our communities.”

Steve McCormick, Group Manager, Prevention Department at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is delighted to assist Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals in this vitally important work. This initiative is an excellent example of how the public sector can partner up and collaborate and use all our available resources to support the citizens and people of Warrington and Halton during these difficult times.”

(left to right):  Keith Roberts from CFRS, Val Doyle, Associate Director Planned Care at WHH, Ahmed Farag, WHH Consultant and Associated Director for Unplanned Care and Lorraine Page from CFRS pictured at Warrington Hospital with the van used to transport swabs to and from patients’ homes .IMG_8609.jpg