Number of NHS staff using free Glasgow Taxis service surges over busy weekend

By Ellen Thomson at

A free taxi service helping NHS staff has seen a surge in use over the last 48-hours.

A fundraiser was launched last week to get medical staff to and from work during the pandemic.

So far, more than 150 staff have benefited from free travel to hospitals leading the coronavirus fight.

Taxi light

The fundraiser was launched to get medical staff to and from work.

But drivers have warned that demand has overtaken incoming donations for the first time.

They say more money is now needed to keep the service going – and targeted at the people who need it most.

The surge may be an indication of how hospitals are getting busier as cases of the virus increase.

The Glasgow NHS Taxi Fund was set up one week ago and some 219 donations have generated more than £4,600 as of Monday.

The organisers of the fund are working in partnership with Glasgow Taxis Ltd.

‘Huge peak’

A spokesperson said: “First and foremost we want to thank all 219 people who have donated so far – almost £5,000 is an incredible sum in just one week and your money has directly helped NHS staff.

“The weekend saw a huge peak in usage and we are pleased that the core message has spread and helped the fund help more people.

“However to make sure the fund can continue to be accessed by the people who really need it most we ask everyone to help make it clear that the fund is primarily intended for any NHS staff with no travel alternative, financially struggling and travelling to or from an NHS hospital directly involved in the fight against coronavirus.

“While we would love to make all travel free for all NHS staff that’s simply not possible so our focus needs to be making sure this fund is accessible to those who need it most.

Taxis

Some 219 donations have generated more than £4,600 to the campaign so far.

“We want to make this fund last and that not only relies on more generous donations but also on the service being used by those who really need it.”

The fund is endorsed by Glasgow Taxis Ltd, who use donations to deliver all journeys at their highest discounted rate.

Many drivers had previously provided some journeys to NHS staff for no fee, ultimately incurring a loss due to petrol costs.

Help

NHS Glasgow staff utilising the service are asked to use the code NHSTaxi when booking via 0141 429 7070 and to show their NHS ID to drivers at the start of each journey.

The service is not intended for repeat or block bookings to ensure it reaches and helps as many people as possible.

Glasgow Taxis Ltd are today looking at other ways they may be able to support the wider NHS community.

To those who can afford to and wish to donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/glasgow-nhs-taxi-fund