Derby County Community Trust have offered their office space to the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust since the beginning of lockdown, when social distancing measures saw their own employees switch to working remotely.

The Community Trust and the club began work to support the city-wide relief effort as part of the ‘Stay Safe. Stay Fit. Stay Connected.’ initiative.

Further feedback from the local relief board was that NHS teams typically offering outpatient services were finding it difficult to keep up with their appointments when home visits had been reduced, and their office space at the hospital offered little room for safe social distancing.

Simon Carnall, Head of Community at Derby County Community Trust, said: “We immediately offered any support we could to the city-wide relief effort set up through the local council and other community organisations like ourselves. We quickly established the need for a central food donation hub which was set up at Pride Park Stadium, but another request which came back was for physical office space.

“It was an obvious way to support the ongoing efforts across the city as we’d already adapted to working remotely as soon as social distancing measures were announced.

“Midwifery teams from the hospital were able to move in quickly and offer safe appointment space for their Continuity of Care teams. Hearing screening for babies born outside of ‘normal hours’ was also quickly set up in one of our classrooms.

“There was no city-based space for these appointments and home visits were reduced, so with many new parents unable to travel further afield due to reduced travel options during the height of lockdown we were glad to be able to provide an easier option for all involved.”

Soon after the midwifery teams moved in, the Clinical Measurement team also started to use other parts of the office which has many separate rooms, providing safe socially distant space.

The Clinical Measurement team are able to offer appointments from the central location to offer ongoing support and maintenance of technology for diagnosing, aiding or treating patients including important services like the upkeep of pacemakers and running ECG tests.

Further support for the local NHS Trust has been shown through the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton’s official charity logo being displayed on all shirts worn for Derby County’s fixtures until the end of the season. They will then be auctioned off with proceeds going back to the charity.

The NHS teams will continue to use the office space provided by Derby County Community Trust until there is a need for Trust staff to resume work from there. Even then, the new partnership will endeavour to find ways to work together and provide safe spaces for appointments wherever possible.

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