New community mini bus will help transport people to new health and wellbeing hub

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 08 September 2017

The 'Hub Bus' being handed over by Exmouth and District Community Transport

The 'Hub Bus' being handed over by Exmouth and District Community Transport

Archant

A ‘ring and ride’ bus which will transport residents to the new Budleigh Salterton Health and Wellbeing Hub has officially been handed over.

The bus was purchased two years ago following an cash injection of more than £20,000 from the Parishes Together Fund.

Now, the bus will give residents in the nine parishes that contributed towards that initial cost transport, a form of transport to the former hospital. It will also allow people in the Budleigh area to get transport to Exmouth Hospital for appointments.

That includes Budleigh Salterton, Colaton Raleigh, Otterton, East Budleigh with Bicton, Exmouth and Lympstone.

Dr David Evans, chairman of Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, said: “The Hub Bus and local transport is of immense importance to the Budleigh Salterton Community Hospital Health and Wellbeing Hub.”

The tail-lift minibus will be kept at the hub in what used to an ambulance bay.

The running costs of the bus will be shared between Budleigh Hospital League of Friends and their Exmouth counterparts and the bus will be managed by Westbank Community Health, which has the lease of the new hub.

Hub project manager Rob Jones added: “What we wanted to try and do is to reduce worry about not being able to get to the hub.”

Dr Evans also revealed that a grand opening of the new health and wellbeing hub is due to take place this November.

He added: “The contractors have now finished the refurbishment of the hospital and moved out last week.

“They have completed an excellent assignment and the result is absolutely superb.

“It is desirable that the hub is fully functional for the grand opening in very early November.

“This will show what can be done when a community hospital faces closure.”

Furniture and fittings funded by the League of Friends are due to be introduced in the next month with services being phased in during September and October.

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is due to move some its services into the hub next month.

When phone lines are established at the hub, residents will be able to ring up and arrange for the bus to collect them.

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