Motorised buggy helping patients get around Southmead Hospital Bristol

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

A motorised buggy is now running in the atrium of the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital Bristol.

Patients and visitors with mobility problems or those who struggle to walk long distances can now get a lift to their appointment on the buggy.

The buggy, which seats six,  is driven by volunteers from the Move Makers team and covers the 280 metre (quarter of a mile) long atrium. 

The hospital has been trialling the use of the buggy with a vehicle on loan since June but it has proved so successful that an order has been placed for a custom made buggy which will take over from October.

It has a specially designated space for a bariatric patient as well as easy access.

A motorised buggy is now running in the atrium of the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital Bristol.  Patients and visitors with mobility problems or those who struggle to walk long distances can now get a lift to their appointment on the buggy.The buggy is available Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm and at times in the evenings and weekends and since July 1 the buggy has helped more than 3,000 passengers to get around the hospital.

There has been lots of positive feedback from the public to the new service so far with one person commenting: “Excellent service, a great help and all with a smile” and another: “Extremely helpful to an 87-year-old going to gate 34b to visit daily.”

The £26,500 buggy has been funded by Southmead Hospital Charity and Southmead Hospital League of Friends.

Jane Ibbunson, Head of Fundraising for Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “Southmead Hospital Charity are pleased to be able to support this new facility in the hospital which has already been welcomed by patients and visitors who need a little extra help.

“I’ve been delighted to hear some of the positive comments about the difference it has made and that once again our Move Makers are a wonderful helping hand for the public.”

Simon Wood, Director of Facilities at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “The new hospital was designed as a space to encourage free flow of people through a bright and spacious environment.

“The addition of the new buggy is a unique way for us to help visitors and patients on their journey through the hospital, and a good example of how we have worked together to come up with a solution after learning from the public’s experience of visiting the new building.”

John Vickery, Chairman of Southmead Hospital League of Friends, said: “We're delighted to be able to support this valuable addition to the facilities at the hospital.

“The buggy will also allow the public to visit the League’s coffee shop and help us to continue to raise funds.  We are also looking to welcome new volunteers to assist us and support our fantastic hospital."

The Move Makers team is looking for more volunteers to guide patients around the hospital and to drive the buggy.  If you want to join the Move Makers contact Jill Randall on 0117 4143709.