'A great triumph of teamwork' Amex Stadium becomes south coast's largest coronavirus testing centre
The Amex Stadium has converted into the south coast’s largest drive-in coronavirus testing centre.
Brighton and Hove Albion have been working with the local authorities throughout the crisis and have assisted the NHS and other key workers during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Testing is strictly by appointment only, and those experiencing symptoms of the virus must follow the government and NHS advice.
The site is part of the government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS staff and other key workers.
Chief executive Paul Barber commented, “It has been amazing to see the Department of Health and Social Care and the team from Deloitte, who are overseeing the set up of these vital test centres, working alongside the army, club staff, AAA *security and the team from our stadium and the club‘s catering partners Sodexo, whose staff are helping to run the site.
“It is hugely impressive, and a great triumph of both teamwork and hard work. The Amex will be the biggest testing site anywhere on the south coast, and will be used for self-testing and assisted testing.
“The centre was scheduled to see more than 50 NHS frontline workers on Saturday afternoon, and they will have the results of their tests within 48 hours. Within a few days, the site should reach its capacity of up to 1,000 tests a day.
“The members of our club and Sodexo staff who will be on site day to day have all been trained; and the level of attention detail is phenomenal. And, having visited the site today, the team spirit was truly humbling.
“Huge credit must go to our safety and security team, led by Ade Morris, the Sodexo team led by Andy Perkins and Sophie Partridge and her team at Deloitte; they have been patient, diligent and supportive to the DHSC, NHS England and various other sub-contractors to make this happen.”
The Amex launch is part of the government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new labs and field testing sites across the UK, with 32 testing sites opened to date.
They will provide thousands more PCR swab tests – which are used to identify if you currently have the virus – for critical key workers, starting with NHS front line staff. It means those who test negative for coronavirus can return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive are able to recover.
Adam Doyle, who is leading Sussex NHS’s coronavirus fight, added, “Testing more of our staff and other key workers, so those who are fit can return to work, is an important part of our plans for responding to the virus."
The Amex is already being used for storage of vital NHS supplies and, together with the club’s training centre at Lancing, will be available for NHS training and local emergency services, in order to coordinate their efforts in the fight against the virus.
The stadium has also been offered to the local authority as a field hospital, if needed.
Albion are also working with catering partners Sodexo and local charities to help assist NHS staff with food and drink donations and cash pledges.
The club delivered supplies initially designated for the Arsenal and Manchester United matches to staff at the Royal Sussex Hospital.
The club has also committed 1,000 match tickets for NHS staff once the pandemic is over and it is safe for fans to return to watch football.
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