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Community Car Service

  • Added: 13/08/15
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The Community Car Service is a vital lifeline to elderly residents to increase access to services.

Overview

In Milton Keynes there is a large elderly population and this is due to increase. Many of these have limited access or are unable to use public transport causing isolation problems and ability to access medical services and social activities. In Milton Keynes there is a problem with missed medical appointments costing GP's £50,000 a year and MK Hospital £1.4 Million. Some residents are having to use taxi's which are expensive and they may not necessarily be able to afford.

Currently there is no designated volunteer Community Car Service for the elderly, disabled or vulnerable adults. MK Council run an oversubscribed Community Transport Minibus service which has been evidenced that it is not fulfilling residents needs and they have closed their books. Also because of Budget cuts MK Council may be looking to reduce/cut bus services which will reduce access to medical services or social activities.

The Community Car Service is to provide reliable door to door transportation for elderly, disabled, mobility impaired, vulnerable adults who struggle to access public transport, in order for them to access a range of medical services and social activities. The Scheme will take passengers from 17 estates on the South West of Milton Keynes including, Ashland, Simpson, Fenny Stratford, Brownswood, Caldecotte, Old Farm Park, Walton Park, Walnut Tree, Wavendon Gate, Passmore, Woughton on the Green, Woughton Park, Passmore, Woolstone, Fishermead, Oldbrook, Springfield, Willen.

We will recruit volunteer drivers from in or around these estates as well to keep the costs of travelling down to both driver and passenger and reduce the carbon footprint.

We will facilitate the journeys and allocate drivers to ensure efficiency of service, encouraging passengers to share transport to locations if they have similar appointments. Minibus schemes can take longer as they are picking up from many places before reaching their destination, our community car service is door to door so minimising the amount of time for the passenger spent in the vehicle and also reducing the cost of the petrol/diesel used.

All drivers will be DBS checked and receive appropriate training for the role.

Project Team

There are two part time workers, one is the co-ordinator of the project, whose role it is to:

* Develop, implement and evaluate a pilot volunteer driver scheme for MK.

* Manage relationships with MKC and parishes involved in the pilot.

* Evaluate the feasibility of rolling out the scheme across MK.

* Develop partnership relationships with parishes outside the pilot scheme.

The second worker is the Administrator whose role it is to:

* Take bookings for members and to arrange journeys with volunteer drivers

* Register new volunteer drivers and passengers

* Undertake necessary admin tasks connected with the Driver service.
maintain the Access database

* Build relationships with the Volunteer Drivers and passengers
record, collate and present statistical profiles of the pilot project.

Voting results for this project

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  2. <strong>0</strong> indifferent 0 indifferent
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Comments

SueMalleson

Sue Malleson

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A great idea but don't forget the villages.

Tracy Whitmore

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The Community Car Service is not meant to replace the Community Transport but to complement it, MK Community Transport is currently oversubscribed so there is evidence that there is enough demand for this type of service as well. We are also working with other schemes to raise awareness of the services and promoting volunteering opportunities as one specific service may not be relevant for all. The geographic focus has come about following a consultation about the Number 18 bus service, which was under threat. The results showed the need for this pilot to cover the estates chosen, and is supported by the five local parish councils in the area. Our volunteer drivers are DBS registered and they are training in Safeguarding Adults, First Aid, Confidentiality, Disability Awareness and Manual Handling, checks are also being carried out on their cars. If the pilot service is successful it is intended to expand it to other areas to benefit other residents who struggle to use public transport.

paulmk17

Paul Griffiths

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I like this project but I am concerned that it cannot replace the Community Transport Service as, for example, the CCS as currently described cannot provide a service for people in wheelchairs. It seems to me that this should be seen as an additional service - not a replacement. I hope the pilot is supported and works as there is a clear need for a service such as this in the rural areas of the borough - where bus services are less frequent than in the urban areas and taxi costs will be higher. It is a shame that the pilot couldn't have included some of the villages. Volunteer drivers must be given appropriate training to safely and confidently provide a service to vulnerable older people. It would be interesting to know if any research has been carried out to find out who isn't making GP and hospital appointments and why: it may not be transport related. For example, my Dad missed a hospital appointment some years ago when the letter confirming it arrived two days AFTER the date!

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