NHS and Ford trial converted Transit for Essex vaccine delivery

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Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with Ford and local community health leaders to bring Covid-19 vaccinations to vulnerable communities, in a bespoke Transit van.

According to the collaboration, despite the success of the UK vaccine rollout, some communities are facing challenges to accessing appointments. This includes those experiencing homelessness, ethnically diverse communities, travelling communities and unregistered patients.

To help address this, a specially converted Ford Transit van will begin travelling across Essex this month, as GP practices work together with local community leaders to safely deliver and administer vaccines in areas of low uptake.

Ford said the bespoke Transit will act as a hub for dedicated vaccine clinics in the grounds of churches, mosques and other community venues. The NHS and partners across the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership will liaise with community leaders and groups to fill pre-booked appointments to rally and vaccinate as many people from the local communities as possible.

A patient receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine inside a bespoke Ford Transit, as the car manufacturer partners with the NHS in Essex to bring mobile vaccination vehicles to vulnerable communities

The vehicle has been converted by West Yorkshire-based specialist vehicle builders, Venari Group. The Transit includes medical grade refrigeration with wifi monitoring capability, vaccine transport coolers, a collapsible chair for administering vaccines as well as an integrated tablet for accessing and updating health and vaccination records.

Mandy Dean, director of commercial vehicles at Ford of Britain, said: “Over the coming weeks, this Ford Transit will make some incredibly important journeys as a vaccination van.

“Working with the NHS and community leaders to deliver this brilliant scheme and bolster the exemplary vaccine rollout, has been a privilege.

“Full credit is due to our conversion partners at Venari Group, who continue to work with us to make thousands of life-saving vehicles for the emergency services every year.

The Ford and NHS Essex Vaccination Transit will take to the roads from early May. The programme will run as a pilot initially, Ford said there is scope to increase the number of vehicles in the future and explore further outreach models.

Ford has released a video detailing the project…

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