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Bus Route to Hilltop Heights Community Clinic Re-instated

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Bus Route to Hilltop Heights Community Clinic Re-instated

Stagecoach Bus 02.14

Patients who use the bus to access the services based at the London Road Community Clinic at Hill Top Heights in Carlisle will no longer have to walk up the hill.

Stagecoach, who run the route, have been dropping of people at the bottom of the hill meaning a substantial walk for patients who were accessing the community services at the London Road clinic.

After a number of complaints by patients Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust discussed the issue with Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Carlisle City Council and then met with Stagecoach.

As a result Stagecoach bosses have agreed that for a trial period, beginning on 10th February, the bus route will now include a drop off/pick up at the top of the hill at the London Road clinic.

The changes will be reviewed in a month and bosses at Stagecoach have explained that if there is sufficient usage, permanent changes will be considered.

Service manager Fiona Dixon from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“A lot of the patients who need to access the services at the London Road clinic are elderly/or have mobility issues and the hill is a substantial challenge for them. We have had a lot of complaints about the difficulties people face accessing the services. We are grateful to Stagecoach for agreeing to extend their service for this trial period.”

Stagecoach operations Manager Mhairi Brady said:

“We are happy to extend our services on a trial basis in order to ascertain if it is financially viable for us to change the route permanently and if there is sufficient usage this will be considered by the company.”

The services that are delivered from Hill top heights include a variety of community health services including podiatry, retinal screening, cardiology and respiratory clinics and sexual health services.

The changes apply to the Number 60 Carleton Clinic to Sandsfield Park and the number 60 return route.

Some patient feedback following the news that the extra stop will be reinstated is:

“I have a walking stick and not having to walk up and down the hill would be of considerable benefit to me. I’m pleasantly surprised at this outcome.”

“Wonderful!!!! I cannot get up the hill so I was going to have to try and arrange hospital transport to take me to my next appointment. I have an appointment at the end of February so the bus service will be of benefit to me.”

“I had to walk up the hill last time and my breathing was so bad I couldn’t speak. I have an appointment every two to four weeks so I’m delighted with the news.”

“My father aged 83 needed to go to the diabetic clinic and as he couldn’t drive due to getting drops in his eyes he was going to take the bus. Reinstating the bus service will mean a great deal to him and enable him to attend his appointments independently.”