The bus gave colleagues the opportunity to go on board and meet the teams who deliver a range of health and wellbeing services such as vaccination, health advice and guidance as well as vital opportunities to signpost people to relevant local health and care services. The bus has expanded its timetable and will be offering much more over the coming months.
The bus began its journey as the SOS bus back in October 2021, supporting the COVID-19 vaccination of our homeless community across Norfolk and Waveney. It was hugely successful and well received across local communities. The SOS bus has now evolved into WOW bus, with a particular focus on wellness.
The WOW Bus has been developed in partnership with Norfolk Integrated Care System and Voluntary Norfolk, with a specific focus on reaching out into those communities who do not access health and care in more traditional ways.
RT hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney said:
“The Wellness on Wheels mobile bus has been brilliant during the difficult COVID-19 period. It enabled us to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t have had the support they needed. I’m thrilled to see it being further used now to extend the reach of even more health and care services across Norfolk and Waveney.”
Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:
“I was so impressed with the public response to the SOS Bus, which toured Norfolk supporting the hugely successful COVID-19 vaccination effort; it shows just how great an impact the service had. This new service, taking vaccinations, support and advice around Norfolk and Waveney, will continue the good work. It helps residents, who may not be able to travel far, have the chance to access health services and get the support they need. If the WOW Bus is coming to your community, let your friends and family know if they are struggling to access more mainstream services for vaccinations.”
Alan Hopley, Chief Executive Officer at Voluntary Norfolk said:
“If people can’t get to healthcare providers, for whatever reason, then we need to take care and services to them. This bus is an asset to a community that needs reaching but it is also creating a wider community, providing care where it’s needed the most.”
Tracy Williams, Clinical Lead for Health Inequalities for NHS Norfolk & Waveney said:
“We are delighted the WOW bus will continue with its journey across Norfolk and Waveney, delivering a range of health interventions to some of our most underserved communities including inclusion health groups, who tell us they often find health care services in our traditional settings are challenging to access.
“There has been a real partnership approach to this initiative between public, health, NHS, local councils and the voluntary sector, where different services are coming on board to deliver their service receiving really positive feedback from communities.”
Over the coming months, with the dedication and commitment from colleagues, the WOW bus will be traveling for miles across Norfolk and Waveney to support those who need extra help with their health and care.
Services that are currently offered on the bus will vary between vaccinations, screening along with health and financial advice. And depending on what our communities need; the focus could well be expanded further.
If you see the WOW bus, make sure you hop onboard!