East London NHS gets on its bikes to cope with Olympics

NHS Staff in east London will be taking to the streets on their bikes to make sure the Olympics don’t hamper healthcare services.

East London NHS Foundation Trust has bought a fleet of bikes as part of a raft of initiatives to keep services going during the Olympics. Six teams across the Trust expressed an interest in having access to bicycles to undertake home visits.

With the predicted disruption to travel during the Olympic Games, cycling will be a key way of getting around and ensuring that home visits take place as arranged. The Trust will continue to run services as usual throughout the Games period.

The Trust has been working with staff to ensure that they have considered any changes they need to make to their journey to work when the Olympics are underway and have tested an alternative route.

Other initiatives introduced or expanded in the Trust have been a Lift Sharing Scheme, a coach service for staff based in Newham, the NHS Bicycle Scheme, a motor cycle service for deliveries, remote access technology for staff to work from home and a teleconference system.

Leaflets have been issued to service users and patients to advise them to make sure they have enough medication and medical supplies to avoid running out.

Jonathan Warren, Director of Nursing and the Trust Lead for Olympic Planning said: “We have been planning for the London 2012 Olympics for over a year to ensure that we can continue to deliver services. We have worked closely with our NHS colleagues, our local authorities, the police, Transport for London and our suppliers.

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“Staff have arranged a number of Olympic themed activities over the year to increase the uptake of exercise and sporting activities among patients and service user to improve overall mental and physical well-being.”

The Trust has also used charitable trust funds to buy 446 tickets for a range of Paralympic events to enable patients and service users to experience the Paralympics at first hand.