As Premier League clubs prepare for the start of the new season, the world-first arrangement which has seen women’s outpatient care delivered from Tottenham Hotspur’s superb stadium approaches the full-time whistle.
The groundbreaking arrangement which kicked off in mid-April, at the height of the covid-19 pandemic, has seen the state-of-the-art stadium host antenatal, gynaecology and obstetric services in its spacious facilities.
More than 40,000 outpatient appointments have taken place at the stadium since the start of the unique partnership on 14 April 2020, one week after the club opened up its underground car park to host drive-through covid-19 testing for local NHS staff.
In just one weekend over the Easter bank holiday, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust “lifted and shifted” our entire antenatal and women’s outpatient services from the main hospital site in Edmonton to the Spurs stadium in the heart of Tottenham.
Teams from both organisations specialising in estates, buildings management, IT, operations, and North Mid’s clinicians, spent a packed 72 hours getting the new arrangements ready to welcome women from 9am Tuesday 14 April.
Throughout the partnership period, more than 41,000 appointments have taken place, with staff seeing more than 200 new patients every day.
North Mid’s Chief Executive Maria Kane said:
“It’s hard to express how grateful we are to Tottenham Hotspur, and how much of a positive impact the Club’s generosity has had on local health services during this pandemic.
“North Mid was one of the first hospitals in England to experience the huge impact of covid-19, and it’s completely natural that women were concerned about coming for antenatal clinics and other maternity appointments – by mid-March, more than one in seven of our women’s outpatient appointments resulted in a patient not attending.
“By transferring these services to the fantastic Spurs stadium, which was both a spacious and welcoming location, as well separate from our main hospital site, we were able to reassure local people how important it is for our services to be safe so they could have the confidence they needed to continue to get the care they deserve.”
Earlier this month, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy dropped in to the stadium areas where the antenatal and maternity services have been running, to meet the team and pass on his personal thanks to them and every member of NHS staff for their dedication to patients throughout the pandemic and every day.
“We are extremely proud of how successful the transferral of North Middlesex’s Women’s Outpatient Services to the stadium has been during these unprecedented times.
“I have seen first-hand how much of a lift being within the stadium setting has given the hard-working staff and how comforting the experience has been for patients that have visited.
Although maternity services are returning to the main North Mid site, the drive-through covid-19 testing service will continue to operate from the THFC stadium roomy basement car park, and is even due to expand capacity in the near future.
From early August, the stadium-based service will take on swabbing for up to 2,000 patients each week who are due to undergo planned operations in north London, running seven days each week.
Maria Kane added:
“Our relationship with Tottenham Hotspur remains incredibly strong, and it’s wonderful to see two such important organisations locally work so well together for the genuine benefit of the local community. Like the NHS, sometimes the background players in Premier League football don’t always get much time in the spotlight, so on behalf of North Mid’s patients, staff and local community, I would like to say a massive thankyou to everyone at Tottenham Hotspur, especially chairman Daniel Levy, for their selfless hard work in making this partnership so beneficial for our shared local population.”