Bus company Go-Ahead has loaned a number of its electric single-decker buses to the London Ambulance Service to be converted into makeshift ambulances to help relieve Covid-19 related pressure.
According to a report by The Guardian, the repurposed buses will be able to carry four patients following the removal of the majority of seats.
Each vehicle will feature oxygen onboard and be used to transfer patients to hospitals including the Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel.
Go-Ahead will provide four drivers for the vehicles, all whom have had the coronavirus vaccination. The company said it was inundated with offers from drivers to help.
Additionally, the buses will be staffed by doctors and nurses as well as volunteers from the St John Ambulance.
Onboard personnel will wear PPE and vital medical equipment will be included in the buses, including infusion pumps and monitors to observe patients’ conditions and keep them stable.
The electric buses will be able to charge the equipment from their batteries, including the oxygen supply. Patients with Covid-19 will also be able to receive oxygen through a face-mask.
Furthermore, holes have been cut in the bus floors to allow for four ambulance stretcher trolleys to be secured.
The Guardian reported that patients will be initially transferred from other London hospitals to Nightingale as part of a “step-down” care service prior to patients being discharged.
Dedicated stops have also been installed outside Guy’s and King’s College hospitals to give the buses priority. The buses will also feature ‘NHS Patient Transport’ stickers on the side that displays the NHS logo.
The service has been arranged by Go-Ahead, Spint and Transport for London.