For immediate release
Date: 23 April 2008
Free Rides On Hospital Shuttlebus
Waikato Hospital's shuttle service has been expanded to include a bright red van that will give patients and visitors rides to their appointments.
The shuttle bus will travel around the hospital every 20 minutes on weekdays to give free rides to those who would find it difficult to walk the distance from the carpark building to their clinic appointment.
Brendan Hague, senior project manager for Waikato DHB's Service and Campus Redevelopment (SCR) project said the bus would provide a valuable service for the hospital as well as patients and visitors.
"Unlike the current shuttlebug vehicles, the new van can use the public streets which will be a real need when the Selwyn St entrance closes on Monday 5 May.
"The bus' main stop is outside the new main entry building and has a route around the campus allowing it to stop outside Hilda Ross House and Waiora, Elizabeth Rothwell, and Menzies buildings.
"Clinic staff have also been encouraged to tell their patients about the bus and explain how they can catch a ride back to the carpark building," he said.
The new bus service is one of many initiatives that is being implemented to help visitors and patients navigate their way around the largest hospital campus in the southern hemisphere.
"Our shuttlebug carts will continue to operate on weekdays, we are constantly looking to improve on our signage and we have almost doubled the number of volunteers on hand at key pedestrian points to ensure that if a visitor or patient needs help they can get it easily."
Mr Hague also wanted to reassure the public that the long distances to clinics are only temporary and more improvements are on the way as part of the $252 million redevelopment project.
"We started with the carpark building to ensure we could maintain parking areas for patients, visitors and staff at the hospital while the redevelopment and other construction projects progress.
"When the project is complete in 2012, a new clinical centre will link onto the carpark building and will house all outpatient appointments, day procedures and clinics," he said.
In the meantime, if you are visiting Waikato Hospital and you are not sure where to go, make sure you ask a volunteer or staff member for help.
More information about Waikato DHB's SCR project at: www.waikatodhb.govt.nz.
Ashleigh Peek Communications Consultant Waikato District Health Board Ph: 07 839 8899 ext 23395 Fax: 07 834 3673 Mobile: 021 359 315 www.waikatodhb.govt.nz
About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:
Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 353,460 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $915 million and employs more than 5300 people.
Health Waikato is the DHB's main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of $530 million and 4500 staff. It has seven divisions across five hospital sites, two maternity and continuing care hospitals and 21 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.
Other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories - are delivered by a wide range of independent providers.