The scheme called Uber Medics will enable all 1.2 million NHS staff, as well as everyone working in care homes in England and Wales, to access a 25 per cent discount on trips, funded by Uber.
Through their personal accounts in the Uber app, NHS staff will be able to book discounted trips from today by linking to their NHS email address. Individual care homes will need to sign up to an Uber account to ensure that staff can access the discounted trips. Uber is working directly with Care England to roll this out as soon as possible.
The company says that of every Uber Medics trip, 100 per cent of the fare will go to the drivers who are supporting the healthcare heroes during this challenging time. The discount on Uber Medics fares is fully funded by Uber, as Uber pays part of the fare on the rider’s behalf.
Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Uber, said: “Healthcare staff and everyone serving in care homes are working tirelessly to protect, treat and care for those affected by coronavirus. We have responded to the request of the Government to provide transportation support for those serving on the frontline. We all have to play our part to help respond to the coronavirus crisis.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, said: “Our heroic health and social care staff are on the frontline in the battle against this virus. I have been overwhelmed by how the whole country has come together and is united in standing behind them. Uber is playing their part by ensuring they have access to safe and reliable transport and I applaud them for showing their support.”
Oliver Dowden, Digital Secretary, said: “It is great to see technology companies like Uber playing a vital role in protecting the NHS and saving lives by helping our key workers reach their destination safely. The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated how quickly the sector can mobilise and rise to new challenges.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England, said: “Uber has recognised the important role that social care workers play on the front line. Transportation is a really important issue for care workers to be able to be in the right place at the right time. This initiative will help ensure that care homes have enough staff on call, and that they are available at short notice”.
All drivers will be able to choose if they take Uber Medics trips. By providing their consent, they agree to wear masks and other PPE equipment.
Uber has introduced measures to ensure that every driver can access the PPE they need for free to drive safely with Uber. As well as providing drivers with free sanitising products, Uber is providing drivers with over one million free PPE items, as well as directly reimbursing drivers if they choose to source the required PPE themselves.
Uber Medics was first launched in Spain following a request from the Madrid Health Department to support healthcare workers in the country. Since then, Uber has partnered with governments and healthcare institutions around the world, including in the US, France, and India.
NHS staff members can click here to find out more.