Taxi firm V Cars is offering free rides to help roll out the covid-19 vaccine to elderly and vulnerable patients across Swindon.
GP practices across the South West are taking their first steps in the process to tackle the pandemic by vaccinating the elderly and vulnerable in the local community.
V Cars is working with participating GP practices across the region to offer rides to those eligible persons who have been invited to make a vaccination appointment - if they have no other means of transport.
The offer if of a covid-safe private hire journey to the vaccination centre, and the patient has the option to book a safe journey home too.
Telephone operators at the participating GP surgeries will co-ordinate the free journey with the V Cars dispatch centre using a dedicated web-based booking system. The system is designed to ensure that only eligible persons in need have access to the free rides.
Jack Price, Regional Director of V Cars, said: “In these first few weeks of the programme, we are helping to assist the first wave of people get their vaccinations.
"For those who don’t have another means of transport we want to help our local community beat covid.
“We don’t want to bring any additional pressure on the NHS or GP practices and it’s vital that people do not call their GPs or NHS asking about free rides. Our offer is strictly on appointment only for those persons who are eligible.
“We are also exploring the option of fixed rates and reduced fares for future waves of people who are invited for their vaccination.
"Even if you are not eligible for the free journey, we may be able to help you. This might be a useful option as public transport services are being reduced.”
This is not the first time V Cars has assisted communities facing covid. In March of last year at the start of the pandemic, V Cars offered a 20 percent discount on fares for all frontline NHS staff, on the production of valid NHS identification.
V Cars was also one of the first transport companies to introduce additional health and hygiene measures in 2020 to make journeys as safe as possible for all passengers and driver-partners.
The measures, designed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, include specialist cleaning regimes, in-vehicle protective screens, the wearing of face coverings and having passengers sit in the rear of vehicles.
Further details can be found at www.v-cars.com/covid-19/passengers/