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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Thank You - Travel and Transport Team

09/06/2020

We'd like you to meet another very important team we couldn't manage without.

This is the team that has to manage the day-to-day movements of all vehicles coming on to our hospital sites, constantly exploring and developing new projects to improve access for patients, visitors and staff.

This means working with the Oxfordshire County and Oxford City councils, the universities, bus companies, private contractors and other organisations within the NHS.

COVID-19 means the Trust has had to rethink getting our patients to their essential appointments, and bringing our staff to work.

Currently Trust staff who need to come on site to carry out essential front line roles are able to park for free, and a hugely popular scheme set up by folding bike hire company Brompton Bikes has provided others with free access to bicycles during this period of reduced public transport.

The Travel and Transport Team has been working as efficiently as possible, with one member self-isolating and working from home. They have also received outstanding support from our PFI partners, Mitie and G4S.

We'll be honest: this team is not used to receiving much praise or positive feedback. Travel to and around our sites has been, on occasions, a sensitive and complex issue, and feelings have run high.

The job done by this team is by no means an easy one at the best of times - and discussing parking issues and problems with extremely busy front line staff is a demanding role to take on when you are self-isolating, and cut off from your colleagues and friends.

Over the past few weeks, Dave Jenkins, OUH Interim Travel and Transport Project Manager, has been drawing on his experience working in the Thames Valley Police Control Room. He talks about colleagues who have 'really shone' and who show 'concrete leadership'.

Dave says:

"The Travel and Transport Team has been working really hard to provide some normality to the situation, and accommodate changes where possible. The team I work with does deserve a huge amount of praise for the work they have done in the background."

This has included ensuring our car parks are used respectfully, researching new systems to improve traffic flow around our sites, improving bus stops at the Churchill Hospital and supporting staff with permit applications (and complaints).

However, there is also more long-term work to be done, such as promoting more cycling to work, preparing a tender for new secure bicycle shelters, increasing parking for disabled users and resurfacing car parks where this is badly needed.

The team also hopes to install Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) on the John Radcliffe Hospital site, to clearly direct drivers to the most suitable car park with available parking spaces.

There are highlights for the team too: they recently had the pleasure of working with Communications staff to arrange the lighting up of Oxford Children's Hospital with a beautiful 'thank you' message for the NHS, generously carried out (for free) by local company J L Lighting Ltd.

Jason Dorsett, OUH Chief Finance Officer, says:

"We are hugely grateful for the work this team does, day in, day out, to try and improve what has sometimes been a challenging situation.

"It is a role that requires some extraordinary qualities, and we are lucky to have found people able and willing to take it on.

"Thanks to the team, I'm personally using the Brompton hire scheme to 'park and pedal' from the Thornhill Park & Ride every day, and I would encourage everyone who can, to get on a bike, and avoid driving to work."

Thank you, Travel and Transport Team, for all that you do.

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