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Free Evening Hospital Visitor Transport Service Now Picking Up in East Dunbartonshire

November 29, 2007 4:57 PM

Ends
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

replied  that the journey would have taken too long.
And when asked if they could have used public transport but decided not to, 59 per cent

Since its October launch last year passengers have made more than 7000 journeys, and the service now has 400 plus registered users.

A customer satisfaction survey carried out earlier this year revealed that 99 per cent of registered clients who responded described the drivers as “excellent”, 97 per cent give the same rating for punctuality, and vehicle cleanliness scored 96 per cent.

A number of partners are involved in this project - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are providing funding to Community Transport Glasgow (CTG) to operate the service; Glasgow City Council provides support to CTG to develop the Community Transport sector in the city; and Strathclyde Passenger Transport, being commissioned to provide the expertise to manage the booking and despatch system.

The Booking Hotline for the Evening Visitor Service is 0845 128 4027.

Notes to Editors:

“I’m delighted that this service is being extended to East Dunbartonshire.  It has proved invaluable to many people visiting friends and loved ones in hospital and I hope many others will now take advantage of the fact it has been extended.  SPT is proud to be part of this initiative.”

SPT are handling the bookings for the service and Councillor Alistair Watson, Chair of SPT, said:

"This new service will not only avoid complicated journeys at a time of anxiety for people, but also provides free and safe transport to hospitals during the evening."

"We are delighted to be a partner in the expansion of this successful service.  It can sometimes be difficult for local people to travel for hospital visits, especially in the evening.

Kathleen McGill, Health Improvement and Inequalities Manager with East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership said:

The transport scheme operates on weekdays between 6-10 pm, and currently covers the following hospitals - Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Western Infirmary, Victoria Infirmary, Stobhill Hospital, Southern General, and Gartnavel General.

“By working with other public sector partners we are offering something which could make a real difference to the lives of those local people who use it.”

He said: “I am delighted that we are able to work in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and SPT to deliver this service which I believe will be hugely valuable to the residents of East Dunbartonshire.

Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener of East Dunbartonshire’s Development & Environment Committee, helped launch the service in the area.

“This service not only offers a reliable option, but in designing the project we took on board community anxieties around travelling unaccompanied at night.”

“Being able to visit relatives and friends in hospital is an important part of their recovery.

“This is the latest phase of the current three expansions and brings additional challenges through the introduction of volunteer car drivers into the equation.  This transport initiative is the only free hospital visiting scheme of its kind in Scotland.

Chris Drapper, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Transport Projects Manager, said:

All local residents are eligible, but the service will prioritise people who are older, disabled or on low incomes

A partnership between the health board, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), East Dunbartonshire Council, East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership (CHP), and Community Transport Glasgow, with vehicles provided by volunteer Community Transport members and Twechar Day-Care, makes journeys easier, simpler and safer for evening hospital visiting.

The door-to-door scheme has now been expanded to include this area, and it is expected that most journeys will be to Stobhill Hospital, Gartnavel General Hospital, and Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Hospital visitors in East Dunbartonshire can now book their seats for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s successful free evening hospital visitor transport service.

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