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South Beds Dial-a-Ride

South Beds Dial-a-Ride aims to help those with mobility difficulties, through age or disability, who find it difficult to use public transport. The service is delivered through a small team of drivers and staff. All passengers, or their group or organisation, must be a member of South Beds Dial-a-Ride to travel with us. There are 3 classes of membership:- individual; group; and self drive. Individual members may book dial-a-ride journeys to any destination within our operating area, and pay the fare appropriate. Group membership is for a group or organisation, which hires the bus and driver to collect a number of its members and take them to a destination. The charge is calculated on a time plus mileage basis. Self drive membership is for a group or organisation which may hire the bus without driver . SBDAR also operates a number of public bus services under contracts.

13 December 2018
East of England
Membership Organisations, Transport Sector
Local Alliances:
Luton 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?

South Beds Dial-a-Ride has been transporting passengers with various levels of dementia for many years. Consequently we have developed a sympathetic and workable strategy for the transportation of passengers with dementia, and have reassured many families who have tried our methods and found them successful. This has resulted in many passenger journeys to selected destinations, improved independence for the passengers who may continue to attend their chosen activities, and the comfort to their families that their loved ones are being handled in a safe manner, and continuing to enjoy aspects of their lives without significant levels of family intervention.We have developed this expertise by talking to the family members, actively listening to their needs and the needs of their loved one, and translating this into workable solutions which can be effectively and reliably carried out by administration staff and drivers. Solutions can be tailored to individuals, and adjusted when necessary. All this can be delivered at a cost which is attractive to the user.

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

Careful listening to and understanding of family members and/or carers, for translation of perceived needs into action. Effective dissemination of required actions.

Diligence of passenger facing staff giving assessment and appropriate feedback and review via management to family members and/or carers.

 Maintaining interest, diligence and cooperation of staff, and recruitment of personnel with the right attitude.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Adopt special procedures for dealing with passengers with dementia

    Normal booking and travel procedures may be amended for passengers with dementia, giving special consideration to extra assistance which may be given to passengers and their families.

    These amended procedures may be the difference between a passenger travelling or not, and hence enjoying improved quality of life, and access to additional facilities. We have recently introduced booking by email and text message to help those with aural difficulties.


    2018 - Second Quarter Update

    We have worked closely with a Dementia User Group to verify and improve the design of our minibuses to help those living with dementia. This created further improvements in our bus design and usability. 2 new vehiicles were received in May 2018, bringing our total complement of dementia friendly buses to 5, over half our current fleet.

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We have added bookings via email and text message to help those with aural difficulties.

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Amended and adopted a variety of different booking procedures relevant to each client. Personalised travelling and handover procedures to enable passenger with dementia to travel unaccompanied where possible, including specific driver instructions.

    Feedback from families through to drivers and drivers through to families on any anticipated or actual changes in behaviour.

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    New member

  • Promote partnerships with organisations dealing with dementia,

    Make these organisations , such as  organisations with members with dementia, and residential and care homes where residents may have dementia,  aware of the transport options for people with dementia, and that South Beds Dial-a-Ride is a dementia friendly transport option ready to support passengers with dementia with a transport solution. These organisations can in turn make family members, carers and supporters aware.