‘We were in the right place at a dreadfully difficult time’

Feb 15, 2021

A COMMUNITY clinic has been lending its services to support the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

Makewell launched last year in the midst of lockdown with the aim of providing affordable healthcare that bridges the gap between public health services and high-end private care.

But for its founder, nurse Jane Lambert, other priorities quickly took centre stage as the full scale of the Covid pandemic became apparent.

“We went ahead with the opening because we realised the potential we had as clinicians to contribute as the situation changed,” said Jane. “We were in the right place at a dreadfully difficult time.

“We have been able to support the NHS and, because we are very familiar with its systems and restructures, we have slotted easily into whatever has been required.”

Jane Lambert

Clinicians from Makewell, based in Milton Keynes, and its parent company ECG Training have been conducting Covid testing and are supporting Milton Keynes University Hospital in rolling out its vaccination programme against the virus.

Their work has been acknowledged by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons after ECG’s efforts were mentioned in Parliament by Milton Keynes North MP Ben Everitt.

Before launching ECG Training, Jane worked as a nurse in the NHS, a career she decided upon after witnessing her grandmother suffer a cardiac arrest when she was 12 years old.

Makewell, she says, grew out of seeing more people wanting to take responsibility for their health.

“Our solution for them is a safe, one-stop shop where the local community can find medical professionals offering multi-disciplinary, affordable and accessible healthcare services.

“We aim to give people more healthcare choices and to make life easier for them.”

A milestone moment in Jane’s career as an entrepreneur came when she took part in the Business Growth Programme at Cranfield in 2018.

As well as kickstarting a radical restructure and rebranding, what she learned on the programme helped her when she was forced to switch to online training as a result of the Covid lockdown last year and needed to gain Care Quality Commission regulatory approval during the pandemic.

“Cranfield taught me how critical it was to get the strategy right,” Jane said. “Getting CQC approval was the priority. I committed our clinical operations manager to working on the project for over six months and it has been achieved. Having the right person doing the right job has paid off.”

Jane now employs a total of 17 staff and 80 freelance clinicians.

Mark Threlfall, director of Cranfield Executive Development, said: “We are always delighted when a participant on one of our programmes is able to take their business to the next level. 

“We are very proud of everything Jane has achieved with ECG Training and Makewell so far and look forward to seeing how the businesses develop and grow in the years to come. Their contribution to the COVID vaccination deployment is truly admirable.”

Alongside its Covid testing and vaccination services, Makewell is offering weight loss programmes, blood and allergy testing, and other vaccinations. Other services in the pipeline including health MOTs, treatments for back pain and acid reflux, facial hair removal and support to cut down on alcohol consumption.

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MP Ben Everitt joins Jane Lambert aboard the mobile Covid testing and vaccination centre

MP joins vaccination bus for Covid testing clinic trial

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A BUS which has been converted into a mobile Covid testing and vaccination centre has made a planned stop in Milton Keynes as part of a trial with healthcare training and solutions provider ECG.

The former city bus has been converted into a state-of-the-art medical facility on wheels complete with three treatment bays and a staff area. It can be used to support the roll out of Covid-19 vaccinations to hard-to-reach communities and provide additional capacity for the NHS.

ECG, which is at the forefront of setting up vaccination centres, training vaccinators and delivering workforce testing solutions across the country, ran their daily testing clinic from the mobile centre, where they carried out Rapid Antigen tests on local residents including Milton Keynes North MP Ben Everitt.

The Project MOVE bus kits are designed to be easily installed into a city bus converting it into a mobile vaccination centre in under 24 hours to deliver up to 865 tests or 540 vaccinations per bus per day.

ECG chief executive Jane Lambert said: “There is a huge demand on the NHS and other healthcare partners to increase their capacity to support the national roll-out of vaccinations. 

“This solution could be used by GPs, community pharmacies and other healthcare providers not only as part of the response to the pandemic, but also as a longer-term solution for flu jabs, blood tests and other services.”

The ECG team is supporting healthcare providers to set up new vaccination centres, provide trained staff to administer the vaccines and train new vaccinators and testers. 

“We are also supporting organisation in workforce testing. Having a mobile vaccination and testing facility can help us and other healthcare providers reach more people, more quickly for essential vaccinations and testing.”

David Brown, a partner at 40two and managing director of Project MOVE said: “We started Project MOVE because we wanted to help alleviate the growing backlog of treatment due to the COVID response.

“One of the main challenges we find is the lack of availability of trained staff to work in the buses, which is why we are so excited to work with ECG in their effort deliver more vaccines, testing and, most importantly, training the next generation. 

“We have the platform and they have the trained people so between us we can provide a complete solution.” 

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