HC-One buys fleet of 200 minibuses
Caring Times, October 2012
Major provider HC-One has purchased a new fleet of 200 mobility minibuses.
Through a partnership with Renault and Bradford based motoring group JCT600 Contracts, HC-One will deliver 200 brand new Renault Master LM35 minibuses to its care homes across the country.
The fleet of specially modified minibuses represents a £6.4 million investment on the part of HC-One at a time when the social care sector is suffering from chronic underinvestment. Modifications to the nine-seater minibuses include a new floor for seat belt fixings, a tail lift, side step, blue internal lights for night travel, a skylight hatch and heater, with Renault throwing-in a number of extras including free rear parking sensors.
When HC-One launched on 1st November 2011, it made a promise to deliver the kindest care in the country to its 10,000 new residents. To make good on this promise, HC-One has ordered the new minibuses specially modified to meet the needs and comforts of HC-One residents, to enable them to enjoy a wide variety of outings and undertake essential trips which help better integrate the care homes with the local communities that they serve.
This investment is just one of a series of efforts HC-One has made to improve the quality of care available, raise the profile of the care sector and emphasise the need for continued investment. The launch of the minibuses comes just weeks after HC-One managing director Pam Finnis appeared on Channel 4’s “Undercover Boss” TV programme to highlight some of the great work being done at all levels in the health and social care sector.
HC-One plans to receive 30 minibuses in August with a further 40 following each month until the order of 200 is fulfilled early next year.
HC-One managing director, Pam Finnis, said: “The arrival of the HC-One minibus fleet is a milestone for the company. HC-One’s aim is to provide the kindest care in the country, and enabling residents to enjoy life in the community around the home is fundamental to achieving this aim.
“It was a lengthy selection process in choosing the minibuses, and we looked at a number of different manufacturers and models. We also viewed a prototype minibus in early July with residents, a home manager and activities co-ordinators to ensure it met their expectations.
“The minibuses have been specially converted to become wheelchair accessible, with a new floor fitted to each for seat belt fixings, along with a tail lift, side step, blue internal lights for night travel, a skylight hatch and heating. Each minibus, fully fitted costs approximately £30,000. “As we roll out the minibuses to HC-One homes across the UK, residents will enjoy more exciting outings and lead a fuller life.
“This announcement is being made in addition to ongoing investment in the people that work for us providing the kindest care day in day out. We are doubly delighted to say that we are also bringing forward a companywide pay review, the results of which we will see in the coming months.”