The future of a vital hospital transport service has been made a little more certain thanks to a £15,000 cash injection from Royal Surrey County Hospital. The announcement was made by Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Chief Executive on 3 March before the MP for South West Surrey, Jeremy Hunt and Chairman of hoppa, Rob Stansbury.
The Hospital hoppa is a convenient and reliable service that takes patients who live in Godalming, Haslemere and surrounding villages to medical appointments at Royal Surrey County Hospital. The bus picks up passengers from their front door and drops them off outside the main entrance to the hospital. The door to door, wheelchair accessible service is aimed at anybody who does not have easy or ready access to personal or public transport.
The MP for South West Surrey, Jeremy Hunt said: “I am very familiar with the work of hoppa and know from speaking with passengers how much they value the service. Hospital hoppa provides a lifeline to many people living in rural communities who do not have access to transport. The service is invaluable and available to a large number of the community including the elderly, mums-to-be or those with a disability.
“This extra funding for the service is great news. From its conception in 2005, the service has delivered over 21,000 passenger journeys, helping people to get to their appointments on time.”
Explaining why they decided to contribute towards the service, Paula Head, Chief Executive at the Royal Surrey says: “The Hospital hoppa does a fantastic job at transporting large numbers of patients so that they get to the hospital on time for their appointment. Funding the service is a very clear example of how we spend money to save money. If a patient can attend their appointment, it puts us in the best possible position to manage and treat their condition. However, if a lack of transport means the patient is not able to attend their appointment, this could lead to their condition worsening and them needing expensive intervention or a stay in hospital. Missed appointments cost us money, waste precious resources and impact on waiting times so we are very clear that by investing in the Hospital hoppa service we are able to save money in other areas.”
Speaking at the cheque presentation on 3 March, Rob Stansbury, Chairman of Waverley hoppa Community Transport says: “We are extremely grateful to the Royal Surrey for recognising the value of Hospital hoppa and providing us with a year’s worth of financial security. Although, the hospital is only six miles away from the centre of Godalming, there is no direct transport link, which makes demand for the service consistently high.
Photo shows: From left to right - Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey; Paula Head, Chief Executive at RSCH; Moyra Finlay, regular Hospital hoppa passenger; Rob Stansbury, Chair of hoppa and Steve Forward, General Manager at hoppa.