Donations needed for new buggy to transport patients around Northampton General Hospital
An ever-increasing demand has meant one of the existing NGH buggies has become tired and in need of replacement.
NGH is spread across 40 acres with the walk from the Billing Road entrance to Tree Wards stretching over 800 metres long.
Over the years, the buggy service has become vital to transport elderly patients to and from their appointments around the vast space - making 260 journeys a week.
Currently there is two in-hospital buggies but NGH needs to replace the older one so it doesn't have to suspend the service if one breaks down and the other is in for repairs.
Alison McCulloch of Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund said: "Unfortunately, we can’t have just an ordinary golf buggy due to the narrow corridors and tight corners in the hospital, so the buggy we need has to be made to measure for our hospital.
"We are working with a company to build a bespoke buggy so that is it perfect for the job in hand.
"Having a buggy service here at NGH means that not only patients and visitors who are less able to walk the distance to appointments or to be with loved ones are assisted. The buggy also helps people feel less anxious about attending their appointments."
The buggy drivers help to make the patients feel at ease and patients are taken straight to the area they need, which benefits clinics and departments as it helps to ensure that patients get to their appointments on time.
The buggy is also now incorporated into the hospitals new ‘meet and greet’ service, which is where a member of the volunteer team meets patients with additional needs and accompanies them to their appointments.
Having reliable buggies in the hospital allows this service to work efficiently so it can be booked in advance.
In the last 14 months, the buggy usage has increased by nearly 80 journeys per week.
Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund, which aims to enhance patient experience beyond what the NHS can fund, is asking for donations, which can be made through contacting their team or by fundraising.