Somerset CCC and the NHS join forces

During these unprecedented times, Somerset County Cricket Club remains committed to doing whatever we can to help and support the local community.

As part of this pledge, The Cooper Associates County Ground was recently made available to the NHS Foundation Trust as a facility for Covid-19 testing.

Somerset CCC CEO, Gordon Hollins explains the importance of working with the NHS at a time like this. “Somerset County Cricket Club has a proud history of playing an important role within the local community and now more than ever we need to be playing our part,” he said. “The NHS and their staff do a phenomenal job and they have needed our support this year more than ever. As soon as we had a fundamental understanding of what impact Covid-19 was going to have within the county, we felt that it was vital to offer our support to the NHS and Musgrove Park Hospital.

“We had a number of conversations and we were more than happy to offer them the use of the Cooper Associates County Ground as a Covid testing site.

“We worked extremely closely with the NHS to ensure that all the necessary safety measures and precautions were implemented to the letter and would like to help the NHS again at some point in the future if it helps them.”

Peter Lewis, CEO of the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust said: “We’re really grateful to Somerset County Cricket Club for allowing us to use the site during the pandemic. The ground was used to test patients before they arrived at the hospital for planned operations to see if they were COVID positive, which informs how we would manage their ongoing care.

“We also used the site to test our NHS colleagues from Musgrove Park and from our other services from across the county, such as mental health services and community services. Essentially, if our colleagues have potential symptoms of COVID-19  then they need to be tested. Having spoken to the team who were running the testing, I know that they were very grateful for the manner in which they were welcomed by the Cricket Club staff.

“Having to test so many patients is not something that we would normally have to do. Therefore, finding the right type of facility to enable us to do this was a challenge in itself so to have somewhere like the Cooper Associates County Ground at no cost to the NHS was fantastic.

“It’s incredibly important that we’re working together. The NHS has had fantastic support from all over the country throughout COVID-19, which has really gone a long way in helping us to continue to give our patients the best care possible.”

This isn’t the first occasion where the two organisations have joined forces. Last year we hosted our first annual NHS Day, which enabled those with NHS ID cards to enter the ground and enjoy day two of our County Championship match against Kent for free.

SCCC have also been active supporters of the Love Musgrove charity and the players make an annual Christmas visit to the Children’s Wards to distribute gifts.

Earlier this year the Club also launched a limited-edition NHS shirt, with all profits going to Love Musgrove and other NHS related charities.

Regarding the special shirt, which was designed by a 12-year-old competition winner, Mr Lewis said: “The shirt looks fantastic and we’re just so grateful that we’ve been able to benefit from the sales of the shirt. It’s one of many ways in which our organisations work together and we’re extremely thankful for the continued support.”

Mr Lewis outlines what the money raised from the sale of the shirts has been used for. “It makes a real difference to what we can do for our colleagues across the organisation, but it also enables us to do some extra things for our patients. COVID-19 has made certain things like visiting patients extremely difficult, so we’ve been able to use some of the money to acquire some iPads for communication purposes between relatives and patients who are being cared for.

“We’ve also been able to do some more work with our younger patients. For example, we’ve been able to get some dolls who are wearing facemasks in a bid to make seeing facemasks less scary so that some of our younger patients can get used to them. We are also able to put some of that money into improving our facilities for our staff.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground