The annual Spirit of Salford Community Awards recognise residents, volunteers and public servants who go above and beyond to make a difference, and this year the awards shone on those who have helped Salford through the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was our pleasure that Taxi Transfers, nominated by Salford Primary Care Together, won the Best Community Safety Project award for providing a transport service to patients requiring a COVID-19 test and members of the COVID-19 home assessment nurses, and delivering meals to NHS staff.
Here, Salford Primary Care Together’s Chief Executive, Lance Gardner, expands on why Taxi Transfers were such a worthy recipient of the award.
“Going ‘above and beyond’ is a well-worn phrase, but one which has come into sharp focus as so many people have worked together this year. Our colleagues have been right at the face of things, battling the virus and protecting people in surgeries and hospitals.
“As the pandemic began, SPCT commissioned local firm Taxis Transfers to take people showing signs of Covid but without access to transport to the newly created testing centre at AJ Bell. They agreed without hesitation and they have since undertaken thousands of journeys for key workers and patients, many of whom were very ill with Covid.
“Each cancer patient waiting for an operation needed a Covid test to protect themselves and everyone at the hospital. At such a stressful, frightening time, the taxi drivers took them for tests and talked to them reassuringly, explaining what would happen at the AJ Bell. That level of empathy and understanding shown to people in a vulnerable position was invaluable, the impact can’t be exaggerated.
“We get more positive feedback about the drivers than we do for all the doctors and nurses put together! They delivered meals to NHS staff every day during the first lockdown when shops were closed or difficult to access, and are doing the same now.
“They provide a taxi for 12 hours a day and seven days a week to transport our Covid Home Assessment team all over the City. They make certain that the nurses arrive promptly and safely while they are in the community, even carrying their bags. They have even taken people to the Emergency Department when ambulances have been delayed. The nurses love the drivers and are so appreciative of their care.
“The practical and emotional support they have given has been exceptional. All ten of them have stepped up and without their commitment, care, and community spirit, we simply couldn’t have done our job. We sincerely and truly thank them.”