The NHS and Metrobus have launched one of the UK’s first Covid-19 mobile vaccination units in a bus in Crawley, targetting hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities.
Metrobus and the Alliance for Better Care (ABC), which represents GPs across Crawley, Horsham, mid-Sussex and East Surrey, teamed up to provide a self-contained, clean and safe location for vaccinations to take place.
The bus was adapted by Metrobus’ engineers, by removing some handrails and seats to create more room for medical staff and their equipment. The inbuilt one-way system and dual doors of the bus are perfect for a one in, one out approach.
Appointments for the mobile unit are by invitation only and are booked by ABC’s GP practices so the public has to wait to be invited. The vaccination bus is expected to help out the NHS for the duration of the country’s vaccination programme.
Brighton & Hove and Metrobus Managing Director Martin Harris said: “We are exceptionally pleased and proud to get behind the rollout of the vital NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, especially when it helps vulnerable people and hard-to-reach communities get their vaccines. I would like to thank Metrobus colleagues and our NHS partners, Alliance for Better Care, for their hard work in mobilising this service so quickly.
“Buses have an important part to play in the national effort against Covid, safely transporting key workers to hospitals, shops and other workplaces and being there for passengers making other essential journeys. We will keep working with the NHS, local councils and other partners to do whatever we can to help out.”
Katherine Saunders, Chief Executive, Alliance for Better Care said: “We are proud of our ABC Director Matt Cullis for coordinating this. It has real potential to get the Covid vaccine to hard-to-reach groups, something primary care really excels at.”
Metrobus is also running services to the new vaccination centre at Epsom Racecourse on Routes 460, 480 and 318.