Southmead Hospital buggy carries its 100,000th passenger

100000 Buggy passenger John Morgan

An airport-style motorised buggy has reached an anniversary milestone of carrying 100,000 patients and visitors through the new Southmead Hospital.

The £26,500 buggy was funded by Southmead Hospital Charity and Southmead Hospital League of Friends for patients and visitors with mobility problems or who struggle with walking long distances.

They can simply flag down the buggy, which seats 6, if they need a lift to their gate.

The buggy is driven by volunteers from the Move Makers team and patrols the 280 metre (quarter of a mile) long atrium. 

The service started in July 2015 and is available seven days a week, some days from 6.15am – 7.30pm, even on Christmas Day.

On June 20, John Morgan, became the buggy’s 100,000th passenger. 

Pictured is John Morgan with his wife Pauline in the Southmead buggy with one of the regular Move Maker volunteer drivers, Graham Daynes.

Mr Morgan said: “The buggy is a real godsend to me. I have been using it regularly for several months while I have been undergoing spinal surgery as I have difficulty walking long distances.”

  • The buggy carries around 6,000 passengers a month  - that’s 250 per weekday
  • Since July 2015 it has travelled 7,000 miles – that’s 13 miles each weekday
  • The buggy is driven by a team of 36 volunteers from the Move Makers Team
  • The most requested destinations are Gate 36 and the main entrance/car park, as they are the two extremities of the building.

Jill Randall, Move Maker Manager, said: “The buggy forms a vital part of the patient experience for many of our less mobile visitors and patients and visitors are always so appreciative of this valuable service that we provide.”

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising, Southmead Hospital Charity said: “We are so pleased that by funding the purchase and running costs of the atrium buggy we have been able to help so many patients and visitors.

“Enabling anyone’s visit to the hospital to be as easy and positive as possible is something that we as a charity aspire to do, and is heartening to know that hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from the buggy.”

NBT Chief Executive, Andrea Young, said: “We are extremely grateful to Southmead Hospital Charity and Southmead Hospital League of Friends for providing the funding for our buggy. 

 “I would also like to thank our Move Maker volunteers who do a wonderful job driving passengers along the Atrium throughout the day.”

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