National Express is a coach operator providing services throughout Great Britain and most services are subcontracted to local coach companies. The National Express coach station in Leeds is within the city centre and the station itself is open 24 hours a day with ticket offices and operations teams available throughout the day.
- 14 June 2021
- Yorkshire and Humber
- Transport Sector
- Local Alliances:
- Leeds 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?
As a transport provider that runs coach journeys throughout Great Britain I believe it would be an excellent opportunity for us as a local team in Leeds to become involved with Dementia Action Alliance. As we are UK wide it would get the message out to many parts of the UK if one of the local coach stations have become more supportive and active within the community. I would like to raise the profile of our company and to showcase that we want to take part in helping to support the local community, including those people with dementia and their carers. I would also like them to feel part of the community and that coach travel is a safe, viable and friendly option for them. All different types of people use coaches and we do try to market our business as affordable and with safe travel. As the coach station is attached to the bus station, we do get many queries from local people - including the elderly and disabled passengers who hold concessionary passes or coach cards. I would like the staff here to be more supportive, thoughtful and trained in helping customers with dementia.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The most important aspect is to ensure that staff receive the training in how to support those with dementia and their carers. It would be challenging to change possible ingrained mindsets of staff but also very rewarding when they see a positive outcome when they do start to help those with dementia, and are given the training and knowledge in how to best do this. It may also be a challenge to get everyone on board nationally and it has been agreed that we would start on a local scale. As the drivers of the coaches are run by different operators this may also be a challenge, but the coach station staff may be able to impart their newly acquired knowledge and training to the drivers themselves.
Staff Support and Improving knowledge
To support staff and to equip them with the necessary information session which will enable them to help and support customers with dementia. This in turn will hopefully lead to higher customer satisfaction, and will also make coach journeys and other encounters more pleasant and meaningful on both sides.
For staff to be better informed and to be more confident with how to respond and to interact in a more positive manner to customers with dementia and their carers.
- Initial Scoping
To become more Dementia Friendly
To create and to promote a friendlier, safer and more positive environment within the coach station with regards to customers with dementia. To put up dementia friendly stickers around the coach station.
For staff to become more proactive in spotting certain signs and to approach customers in a welcoming and friendly manner. Staff to take them to a quieter place if this makes the customer more confortable. Also to take customers to the coach stands wherever possible rather than offer directions that may be hard to follow.
- Initial Scoping
To appoint a Dementia Champion for the local Leeds site as a point of call for any enquiries and as a support network for all staff. The champion will actively seek out partnership opportunities, especially within the transport sector. To attend dementia events and hub activities in the local area.