University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL)
University Hospitals of Leicester
Leicester City Council
Leicestershire County Council
Rutland County Council
Healthwatch Leicester & Leicestershire
Local transport operators: Arriva, Centrebus, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, First and Ride On.
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.
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.
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:
“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.”