The new buggies, which were co-sponsored by the organisations and donated courtesy of Westmead Medical Research Foundation (WMRF), replace the hospital’s well-loved “green machines” that have helped transport patients and visitors across its vast corridors for nearly a decade.
Operated by a group of friendly volunteer drivers, the buggies are available five days a week from the hospital’s main entrance to community members in need of mobility assistance.
The first buggy – dubbed the “green machine” for its bright-green paint job – was introduced in 2007, with support from Arab Bank Australia. But after nearly 10 years of constant use, the buggy fleet was in need of an upgrade.
Westmead Hospital acting general manager Sue-Anne Redmond, said the new buggies would be greatly appreciated by all users.
“It is a task getting around a big hospital like Westmead, and when you are unwell, it can feel almost impossible – that’s why the complimentary buggy system is so important,” she said.
“I know the hard-working volunteers who drive these buggies will greatly appreciate the new vehicles; it is thanks to them that patients and visitors with mobility difficulties can easily access the various wards, clinics and services within the hospital.”
Westmead Medical Research Foundation Head of Development Joe Conneely acknowledged the generosity of the organisations behind the new buggies.
“The dedication of these three organisations to help our community is sincerely appreciated,” he said. “Their support means we can continue to provide patients and visitors with this free service, which is part of our ongoing commitment towards our patients’ health and wellbeing.”
The buggy service was a finalist in the 2012 NSW Health Awards.