Solent NHS Trust teams have set up a new Covid-19 infusion service at St Mary’s Community Health Campus in the city.
Symptomatic Covid patients, who have received a clinical review from consultants and are at high risk of admission, are referred into the service a few days after their positive result.
They then are booked to attend a short, two-hour appointment to receive monoclonal antibodies – which engage your immune system to fight disease – and are discharged on the same day.
Dan Baylis, chief medical officer at Solent NHS Trust, said: ‘It is fantastic to see nursing, pharmacy and estates colleagues working together in the shared goal of delivering great care to patients who are Covid-positive and have high-risk medical conditions, and providing high quality treatment on an outpatient basis in a non-acute setting, all quickly and conveniently.
‘This service is a prime example of people not ending up in an acute hospital bed unnecessarily and offering more cost-effective and appropriate treatment long term.
‘We are proud to be one of the first NHS trusts in the region rolling out this service as we pride ourselves on forging new and bold ways of delivering high-quality health and care services which support people’s health and independence, no matter who they are or where they live.’
Portsmouth resident Heather Hancock was one patient who recently used the service.
‘I had not heard of the infusion service,’ she said.
‘They called me to give me an appointment the next day and confirmed where to go which was followed up by an email and map. On arrival, I was collected from the car park by a lovely nurse who put me at my ease.
‘I was introduced to the other nurse in the room and they both explained the procedure. My veins are not very good and the nurses had problems finding a suitable vein for the cannula.
‘They did not give up and were very patient and caring and finally managed to put the cannula in so I could have the infusion. During the whole procedure the nurses were friendly and professional.
‘The infusion is quick and can be done at the local outpatients - I was in and out within two hours.
‘I think this is an excellent service if it stops vulnerable people from becoming very poorly with Covid or being hospitalised.’
Funding for the service has been secured from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS), and it is guaranteed to run until April 2023.