Stagecoach announce two award wins for initiatives supporting the NHS
- Winners announced at virtual UK Bus and Coach Awards
- East Midlands scoop ‘outstanding partnership’ award
- Stagecoach London win award for helping refit ambulances and almost doubling the fleet
Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, have won two awards at this year’s UK Bus and Coach Awards for initiatives supporting the NHS. The award ceremony which is held annually was cancelled in 2020 and was much anticipated this year in order to celebrate the achievements of operators and staff across the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stagecoach East Midlands won the Outstanding Partnership award for their demand driven ‘Stagecoach Connect’ initiative. At a time of immense pressure on the NHS, multiple discussions between Stagecoach East Midlands and local authorities led to the agreement of the need to trial a dedicated transport service that could better facilitate NHS staff getting to work at local hospitals in a safe and timely manner.
Launched in Mansfield for Kings Mill Hospital in May 2020, Stagecoach Connect was a demand driven digital booking platform that enabled NHS workers to get to work and back with ease and in comfort, using a smart phone application. By pre booking their travel requirements, the software algorithm worked out the most effective routing and timings for the bus to pick each passenger up in order to get them to the hospital at the correct time.
Further south, Stagecoach London scooped an award for working with London Ambulance Service at their West Ham garage. After clearing an area on site, the Engineering team worked with the AA and Ambulance Service to kit out new and second hand vehicles with the aim to get more ambulances on the road and from a site that was local to the Nightingale Hospital.
Before the pandemic, it would usually take the London Ambulance Service one week to have 2 vehicles road ready, but with the help from Stagecoach and the AA, it took just five days to have 62 brand new vehicles on the road. Along with refitting the second hand vehicles, the hard work of the team ensured that the fleet of ambulances increased from 350 to over 600 and allowed extra help for the frontline during the peak of the pandemic.
Carla Stockton-Jones, UK Managing Director, Stagecoach said: “We are delighted to have won two awards for supporting the NHS during one of the biggest health crisis’ of our lifetime. These accolades showcase the very best of our innovation and partnership working and also celebrate the fantastic contribution of our people during the pandemic. I am extremely proud of the work done by our people across the UK to support our NHS and grateful to UK Bus and Coach Awards for helping highlight and recognise this.”
Stagecoach have also supported the NHS in other ways, such as offering discounted travel to NHS workers in Scotland and last year, through overpayments made during the company’s exact fares policy, which was enforced to reduce cash handling during the peak of the pandemic, donated over £122,00 to NHS Charities Together Appeal.