Posted on January 2021 By Jamie Southwell
With coronavirus cases continuing to thrive in the Southern parts of England, the NHS have begun adapting more resources at their disposal to help ease the stress on hospitals. Transforming signature London buses into temporary ambulances as a way of transporting patients.
Earlier during the pandemic in April 2020, we saw the opening of the first NHS Nightingale in London after the ExCel convention centre was converted into a temporary hospital holding up to 4,000 patients. Now, one of the UK’s most iconic methods of transportation is being utilised by NHS staff to deliver patients throughout the capital, following on from deaths averaging 1,000 per day for the past ten days.
So far, two single decker London buses have been made operational for use for the NHS, with the majority of the seating removed to allow for up to four patients to be carried at once. The company behind the renovations of these buses are Go-Ahead, who own the vehicles and are loaning them to the National Health Service. Additionally, they are providing four drivers to operate the substitute ambulances to ensure patients are safely transported to the various hospitals, including the recently reopened London Nightingale.
Staff on board the buses consist of doctors and nurses, primarily in intensive care, alongside volunteers from the St John Ambulance first aid charity. The remodelling on the inside of these vehicles allows for vital medical equipment to be carried and charged, including infusions pumps, monitors, and oxygen machines.
On the 14th of January cases hit 29,405 with London making up 30% of those at 8,818. With the new system of transportation for patients in place, capacity in hospitals should be more spread out. Certain trusts in South London have already started to implement dedicated bus stops to guarantee access to these buses and allow for parking.