ARGYLE have teamed up with the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust to make Home Park Stadium available for routine NHS services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response period.
With football suspended until April 30 at the earliest, and staff working from home, the club moved quickly to make its Mayflower Grandstand available for the NHS to use for their community antenatal and phlebotomy (over 16) services.
With arrangements now formally agreed, the NHS will move equipment into the ground on Thursday, March 26 - beginning patient consultations next week.
A team of clinicians, and technical support staff from both Argyle and the NHS, have been involved in the project to transform Club Argyle into a clinical environment which is equipped to deliver safe, effective services and adheres to the necessary social distancing requirements.
“In line with our Vision and Values as a club for the region, the Argyle community feels duty-bound to support local services in this time of need,” said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Parkinson. “With staff currently working from home and no football in the immediate future, offering up Home Park for the use of the NHS is, we feel, our civic duty.”
“We would like to place on record our gratitude and respect to front-line healthcare workers who continue to go above and beyond to keep our communities safe and healthy.”
Local GP and Associate Medical Director for Primary Care at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Dr Jonathan Cope said: “The move to temporarily relocate lower risk, mobile services away from Derriford Hospital and GP practices is intended to allow for the continuation of important clinical interactions, without creating additional footfall to the traditional sites.
“I’d like to extend a big thank you to Plymouth Argyle for their generosity and support in bringing this concept to reality. The task of converting the Grandstand into a temporary clinic has been a team effort. Planning and delivering this in little over a week is a breath-taking achievement and testament to the strong partnership working between the club and the local NHS.”
In addition to providing Home Park for NHS use in the short-term, the club has also launched a Crowdfunder campaign last week, with one match ticket donated to the NHS staff from Devon and Cornwall for every £100 raised.
At the time of writing, the club has raised over £16,000 in a matter of a few days, with 160 tickets having already been donated to our local health heroes for the 20/21 season.