Hospice welcomes new minibus

Published:  12 November, 2012

A Worcestershire hospice will be able to provide top-of-the range mobility transport for patients thanks to Stanford Coachworks.

The Essex based vehicle conversion specialists supplied a stunning metallic silver Renault Master LM35 Wheelchair Accessible Minibus for St Richard's Hospice on 25th October 2012.

The hospice cares for patients and families who are living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Each year the hospice gives free care and support to around 2,300 patients and their families.

“It is essential to our Day Hospice service that we are able to transport our patients safely and comfortably to and from their home whatever their physical disability,” explains Marion Turner, Community Service Manager.

“We invite at least 8 patients per week who are wheelchair users and would be socially isolated without our support.”

The DCI turbo engine minibus with six-speed manual gearbox, cab air conditioning and rear reversing sensors for easier reverse parking, will be invaluable for community transportation.

There are eight passenger seats and space for up to three wheelchair passengers when some seats have been removed thanks to the Unwin semi-recessed low profile tracking fitted into the floor; fully overlaid with non-slip Taralpus which has high visibility yellow edging at rear and side entrance. All seats are M1 certified, 450m wide with incontinence upholstery, all-age seat restraint belts and fitted with folding arm rests on the isle side and transporter wheels for easy removal.

A Ricon S2036 fully automatic inboard wheelchair lift is fitted at the rear of the bus. A two-piece split platform has automatic outer roll stops and manual back-up system.

A side sliding door gives convenient access for passengers with an electrically-operated side step, activated when the door is opened and closed. High visibility yellow textured hand-rails are fitted to each side of the entrance, the rear one forming a modesty screen with carpeted lower panel.

An Eberspacher D4 heater has been fitted to provide heat for the saloon, with separate controls and thermostat on the dash board. Modern lighting features include LED lamps and blue night lights and a Tom-Tom Satellite Navigation System has been supplied. The panoramic windows have toughened glass which is tinted.

David Hardacre, Sales and Marketing Executive for Stanford, said: “St Richard's provides a great service and is a very community-focused organisation. We are delighted to have been able to provide a bespoke minibus which meets their requirements.”

Marion Turner concludes: “Our current minibuses can only take one wheelchair and no other passengers or 3 mobile passengers. This new mini-bus will seat 2 passengers in their wheelchairs and 5 patients, 1 driver and 1 volunteer escort. The new minibus is also well insulated, comfortable and reliable and is befitting to our professional services we offer to palliative patients and their families living in South Worcestershire.”

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