University Hospitals of Leicester Travel Planning

Project manager:

  • Robin Pointon

  • Ian Murdey

Project Client:

  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL)

Stakeholders:

  • University Hospitals of Leicester

  • Leicester City Council

  • Leicestershire County Council

  • Rutland County Council

  • Healthwatch Leicester & Leicestershire

  • Healthwatch Rutland

  • Local transport operators: Arriva, Centrebus, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, First and Ride On.

Project Descripton

What was the primary challenge or set of challenges facing the client? What was the business case for change?

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) are undergoing a £450 million reconfiguration and investment programme that is expected to last for up to eight years. The new services will result in changing footfalls at all three UHL sites and create significantly changing patterns of travel during and after the build programme.

Within the local community there are existing concerns about accessibility to the hospitals in Leicester, particularly the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI), and a perception that this will worsen as a result of future developments. In response, UHL in 2019 had an updated Travel Plan produced that has reflected some historical successes; however, overall take-up of sustainable travel has been in decline over the last decade.

Across Leicester and for the NHS across the UK, there is growing expectation and requirement for the NHS to be managing the impacts of changes made and ensure that all stakeholders are appropriately consulted and engaged.

UHL, like Trusts across the UK, are still impacted significantly by the largest ever worldwide pandemic with Covid-19. This is generating a set of additional travel planning requirements, to support essential workers to easily get to/from work. It is anticipated this impact could last for up to two years.

Go Travel Solutions (GTS) were commissioned on this project in September 2020. They are working with the Trust Travelwise Manager, Ruth Ward to create a roadmap of actions going forward through the reconfiguration programme and beyond that will support access to UHL sites for staff, patients, and visitors.

Benefits

What special value did Go Travel Solutions bring?

These are the areas where GTS are adding value:

  • Extensive experience of creating, managing, and promoting Travel Plans for major employers.

  • Applying the learnings from Phases 1 to 3 of the UHL Travel Action Plan and building on the partnerships established, to maximise their value in developing a greater range of travel options for the three UHL sites.

  • In-depth local and national sustainable transport knowledge through effective relationships with providers, public sector and private sector partners.

  • Effective and long-term engagement with major employers in Leicester e.g. De Montfort University, Highcross, University of Leicester.

  • Effective and long-term engagement with senior officers and members at Leicester City Council.

  • Effective and long-term engagement with local transport providers at senior level e.g. Arriva, First, East Midlands Railway.

  • Expertise in stakeholder management across public, private and 3rd sectors.

Solutions

GTS are working with Ruth Ward and the other stakeholders to expand on the initiatives suggested within the Travel Plan and have now built these into a Travel Action Plan. This will form the basis of transport initiatives and actions throughout the reconfiguration programme.

A list of priority actions have been identified and are being costed, and funding sources identified, for delivery within the first 12 – 18 months of the development ensuring continuing site access for all UHL users during the first stages of development.

By supporting the Trust and working with local transport providers and enablers, GTS are playing a key role in the delivery of the priorities identified in the Travel Action Plan.

In the first six months of the commission, significant progress has already been made. Here are some of the highlights:

    • Approval of the Travel Action Plan by the UHL Trust Board in March 2021.
    • Securing an extension of the Santander Cycles Leicester e-bike share scheme to include Glenfield Hospital.
    • Extension of the PlusBus scheme to include the Hospital Hopper bus service.
    • Creation of effective partnerships with all stakeholders, in turn helping to secure additional investment into the UHL Travel Action Plan.

Client testimonial

“Working with Go Travel Solutions has raised the profile of travel within the Trust. They have given us the opportunity and momentum to move forward on travel initiatives. The level of engagement from all parties would not have been possible without them. The knowledge, expertise and links Go Travel Solutions have has allowed the Trust to make great steps forward.”

Nigel Bond, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, University Hospitals of Leicester

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