Birmingham & Black Country

NHS blood test service at Birmingham New Street station

Empty shop at Birmingham New Street station Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The empty shop at Birmingham New Street station is being used for blood tests

An empty shop in one of the UK's major railway stations is being given over rent-free for routine blood testing to help ease pressures on hospitals.

The former retail space at Birmingham New Street station will be staffed by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) for six months.

It is hoped it will reduce the number of people visiting hospitals dealing with Covid-19 cases.

Tests at the temporary phlebotomy clinic will be by appointment only.

Patients at Queen Elizabeth hospital, Heartlands hospital, Good Hope hospital, Solihull hospital and Birmingham chest clinic will be able to use the service.

'No brainer'

"The trust has made some important decisions which will reduce the number of people attending our hospitals and community services in person," Dr David Rosser, chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said.

"The aim is to limit footfall across our sites to ensure only the most acutely unwell inpatients, people who require emergency interventions and those with essential appointments are on site, enabling those who do not need to attend to avoid unnecessary travel and exposure to a large healthcare setting."

The manager of New Street said it was a "no brainer" to offer the NHS the space and added the station was doing everything it could to support doctors in an "unprecedented time".

Patrick Power said: "The clinic being based in the Midlands' largest transport hub means it will be extremely easy for people to travel to should a routine blood test be advised by their doctor."

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said it was "great to see" the service being set up.

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