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Pandemic support just the ticket!

Posted onPosted on 19th Nov

An initiative that supported NHS workers through the pandemic in Mansfield and Ashfield has been recognised at an annual awards ceremony.

Stagecoach Connect helped hospitals and health staff to get to and from work on a shuttle bus service using a smartphone application.

Stagecoach East Midlands won the Outstanding Partnership Award at the UK Bus and Coach Awards for the innovative idea to back key workers in Mansfield.

The app offered a demand-driven digital booking platform, also ensuring social distancing rules were followed. NHS staff were able to pre-book their travel to and from work by selecting the nearest bus stop they wanted to be picked up from and taken back to following their shift. They could track their bus and get confirmation when it was nearby.

The initiative was developed from concept to delivery in just two weeks to aid the Covid-19 response. Stagecoach East Midlands worked closely with King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton, and Nottinghamshire County Council on the scheme, before its launch in Mansfield in May 2020.

Matt Cranwell, managing director of Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “The app was one way in which we were able to support our brilliant NHS staff with getting to and from their shifts safely and give them more peace of mind when it came to commuting during an extremely challenging time.

“We continue to look for ways to support our NHS staff and key workers in Mansfield and want to thank our partners at King’s Mill Hospital, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Nottinghamshire County Council and Via for their help in launching the initiative.”

The Stagecoach Connect technology is powered by Via, a leader in TransitTech.

Ceri Feltbower, associate director of service improvement, Sherwood Forest Hospitals, thanked Stagecoach, adding: “The shuttle bus and booking app they developed so hospital colleagues could get into work was invaluable. It made a real difference for so many people and was one less thing for them to worry about at a very difficult time.”