Otaki Health Shuttle evolves to meet demand

R-JN15-Health-shuttle.jpgSt John has introduced a new scheduled week-day Health Shuttle services from Otaki to Palmerston North, to ease access to hospital.

St John launched the Otaki Health Shuttle in June 2010. Straightforward and stress free, St John Health Shuttles offer transport strictly for people who need to attend health related appointments or treatment in Palmerston North.

Many shuttle users are on their own or with health or mobility issues, and without the service would otherwise be unable to attend vital doctor, specialist and hospital or other health related care.

“Up until now the service has operated based on individual requirements — leaving at pre-booked times throughout the day. Since then the number of people who have utilised the service has grown to the point that a scheduled service is required to ensure everyone’s needs could continue to be met,” St John Community Wellbeing Coordinator Andrew Baillie says.

While requests for transport for medical appointments will continue to be on an as-required basis, he believes scheduled departures will assist local users to plan and coordinate appointments with health providers in Palmerston North.

“People can continue to book the shuttle in the way they have in the past, but have confidence now that it will depart and return at set times throughout the day,” he explains.

Health Shuttle users will continue to be collected from their homes or other locations they nominate and then be returned home after their appointments.

“Apart from the scheduled times of departure from Otaki and Palmerston North nothing else has changed. When you have finished your appointment, the staff at your ward or clinic will contact the shuttle and confirm return times and departure points.” Mr Baillie says.

“This is a vital community resource that touches the lives of local people with real needs every day. Without the Health Shuttle many people with health needs would be forced to find other forms of transport or rely on family and friends to get them to health appointments. It’s a complimentary service but donations help us to help you. Every donation made helps with the Otaki Health Shuttle operation costs,”

Since its launch in 2010 the Otaki Health Shuttle, led by a team of dedicated volunteers has transported approximately 5,000 people for health related appointments, the majority of whom travel to Palmerston North.

Bookings

St John Otaki Health Shuttle bookings are required at least 24 hours in advance and can be made week-days between 9am – 2.30pm by phoning 06 364 5603, visiting www.stjohn.org.nz or for more information email otakishuttle@gmail.com

Schedule:

From Otaki to Palmerston North:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 5.30am
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 5.30am (as required)
  • Monday –Friday: 8am, 11.30am

From Palmerston North to Otaki:

  • Monday to Friday 7am, 12pm, 2pm