The NHS in Dorset is using innovation to help see patients more quickly, with plans to run clinics on the top floor of Beales department store in the Dolphin Centre, Poole.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (UHD) is developing plans with partners across Dorset to run outpatient appointments in a completely different way, taking over the top floor of Beales department store in the Dolphin Centre in Poole. This space will be converted into a safe, clinical area for tests and screening. This is in response to the growing waiting lists following many cancellations because of the Covid pandemic. The new centre is planned to welcome its first patients in the autumn.

Patients will be seen by a variety of healthcare staff in different roles, depending on their condition. These face-to-face clinics will help determine what should happen to them next – for instance if they need to come into hospital for an operation, or to provide specialist advice on managing with treatment at home or in the community. The NHS will also be working with partners on offering wider wellbeing advice to all who attend.

By using this large space in a totally new way, planners can map out the flow of patients while always maintaining their dignity and privacy, as well as taking into account all social distancing guidelines. The NHS is also working with patient groups to ensure that the experience works to the benefit of all, including deciding the name of the centre.

The centre is initially planned to cover dermatology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology and breast screening. By setting up a breast screening unit in the middle of Poole the NHS will be able to offer women from all over Dorset the opportunity to have mammograms which were delayed by Covid in a purpose built unit.

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