NHS Bloodbank takes 38 EvoBus Sprinters

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NHS Bloodbank takes 38 EvoBus SprintersAvailability of a turnkey product from a main manufacturer has proved highly attractive to one of the most vital and highly regarded of National Health Service divisions catering for the country’s blood donors.

EvoBus UK has supplied 38 Mercedes-Benz 316 Cdi Sprinter Transfer 34 minibuses to the NHS Bloodbank division, through the Enza Motors CV dealership in Warrington.

All the vehicles were produced in-house by EvoBus at its minibus facility in Dortmund although three were supplied without seating and have undergone further conversion work in the UK from Minibus Options. These have been converted into mobile display/promotional vehicles which Bloodbank uses to market its services when encouraging people to give blood – typically by visiting town or village halls, workplaces, fetes, county or regional shows, gymnasiums or wherever they may gain substantial exposure to the general public. These vehicles are equipped like an office with plenty of display holders on the sidewalls for promotional information leaflets and feature wind-out awnings to provide rain shelter or shade.

NHS national fleet services manager Larry Bannon said: “We have over 80 operating centres, including 14 main centres, each running a minibus. They are used to transport the teams of staff to and from the blood collection sites where they perform the transfusion service.

“The new minibuses represent something of a change in direction. We are reorganising how we do things and moving away from the dualcab style of vehicle we have used in the past.”

Each of the vehicles is equipped with 14 passenger seats – including the double seat beside the driver. They have an automatically deploying and retracting step at the sliding side entrance door and the area behind the seats features a ‘parcel shelf’ and elasticated cargo netting to ensure secure carriage for the collected blood. In addition to the cab area air conditioning, a roof-mounted factory-fit AC 408 system supplies climate control to the saloon. Parktronic proximity and reversing sensors were also installed. A few of the vehicles are specially equipped for ‘Blue Light’ operation should emergency supplies of blood be required at hospitals anywhere in the country.

Lee Gibson, minibus manager at EvoBus UK, said: “EvoBus along with its partner, Enza Motors, is delighted to be the preferred supplier to the NHS Bloodbank and to support its invaluable work in the community. Along with the colleagues at our production facilities in Dortmund, EvoBus has worked hard over the last three years to develop and launch 10 new minibus variants for the UK market. This major order to a key customer such as the NHS gives us confidence there is a desire from the UK market for a turnkey product direct from the manufacturer.”