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First Southwest

First Southwest is a bus company operating services in the English counties of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. It is a subsidiary of First group. We have over 500 staff employed through the 3 businesses and carry millions of passengers every year.

8 October 2015
South West
Transport Sector
Local Alliances:
Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

All our driving staff receive dementia awareness training as a compulsory measure.

 We also offer safe Journey cards for passengers with any type of disability, this is so we can offer a better journey for them, and also helps our drivers. We always look to keep moving forward and have several new incentives in the pipeline.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

We always try our best. First bus has invested in training and the safe journey cards, unfortunately money is not unlimited but we do our best. Time is also very valuable  (particularly following recent winter storms and the rail issues) only now do we find ourselves with time to dedicate.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Driver training CPC mandatory training for all driving staff

    We have a training day for all new and existing staff which is provided by the Alzheimer’s society, the drivers must attend this to keep their licence  

    We are currently investigating how this awareness can also be cascaded out to our travelshop and workshop staff.

    Being implemented
  • Safe Journey / Better Journey cards

    These are provided to members of the public who need extra support on our buses. These are available in the bus stations and drivers carry them on board.  We will be promoting them further within memory cafes and other groups used by people with dementia.

    Being implemented
  • Swap with me event

    This is a day for all staff managers and travelshop staff, where we step into the shoes of individuals living with dementia, to help raise understanding of thechallenges faced when accessing services. We have already held this event focusing on other groups of people e.g blindness awareness.