“Because the Infopoints are free to use, they’re of great benefit to the patients and I think they really do value that.”
Eleanor Morris, Lead for Volunteering, Engagement and Patient Experience, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
Serving Wolverhampton and the surrounding area, New Cross Hospital is one of the largest – and busiest – hospitals in the West Midlands. With multiple car parks, entrances and exits, getting around the hospital can be a challenge.
“The site is very large and we find that visitors can struggle if they come to one entrance then need to get to the opposite end of the hospital,” explains Eleanor Morris, Lead for Volunteering, Engagement and Patient Experience at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. “In 2008, we introduced a scooter service for visitors and outpatients. It’s an adapted mobility scooter with two seats, driven by volunteers, that picks people up and takes them wherever they need to go.”
While the response to the scooter scheme was immediately positive, flagging down a lift wasn’t always easy. Fortunately, Infopoint were able to help.
“Initially, it was difficult for people to find a scooter when they need it, so we introduced a mobile phone that you could call to speak to the volunteer driver,” says Eleanor Morris. “However, it can be expensive for people to dial a mobile number, especially if they have to use a payphone, so we asked if the mobile number could be put onto the Infopoints.”
There are multiple Infopoint 6 and Infopoint 12 help points installed around the New Cross site, each providing free calls to the local taxi provider plus a range of additional services, such as NHS 111, the hospital’s Stop Smoking service, public transport information and the main Trust switchboard.
Because you can change the services offered at any time, free of charge, adding the scooter service was no problem. Initially trialled on the help point located at the hospital’s west entrance, the service now features on all 10 Infopoints located throughout the hospital.
Best of all, calls to the scooter driver’s mobile phone are now free for visitors and also cost zero for the Trust. The entire Infopoint service – including the help points themselves, installation, ongoing maintenance and all call charges – is paid for by the local taxi provider.
“Giving people an easier way to call has really helped,” says Eleanor Morris. “The scooter service is not something we have to provide – it’s something we want to offer to help people.
“The scooters are paid for by charity money and driven by volunteers, so there’s really minimal cost to the Trust in providing this service,” she continues. “Because the Infopoints are free to use, they’re of great benefit to the patients and I think they really do value that.”