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Stagecoach to provide health checks for its workforce in a Heart Healthy Bus

Stagecoach has sent a Heart Healthy Bus on a tour of its depots, to provide heart health checks for thousands of its employees.

The double-decker vehicle, which has been designed in partnership with BMI Healthcare, was refurbished by Plaxton as a mobile cardio-screening unit equipped with patient consultation facilities and the latest exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) equipment.
Stagecoach Group is funding the £2 million initiative, with support from chief executive Brian Souter who has personally pledged £1 million towards the project.

The bus contains an ‘eBike' and software provided by GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare's CardioSoftTM software controls the speed and resistance for the eBike, monitors the subject's vital signs and sends the ECG data securely and wirelessly to GE Healthcare's MUSE® ECG database system where Barry Vallance, Healthy Heart Bus clinical lead and consultant cardiologist for the NHS and at BMI Ross Hall Hospital, will analyse the results and advise on any required course of action.
Employees in the North-east of Scotland will be the first to be invited to take part in the programme, which gets under way this month and is designed to encourage heart health awareness among employees.
Over the next three to four years, all Stagecoach UK Bus employees with more than three years' service will be given the opportunity to undergo a voluntary assessment of their cardiovascular health, as well as receiving advice on ways to maintain and improve their heart health.
The initiative will allow staff to find out their level of cardiovascular health and potential risk areas, receive individual advice on ways to improve their heart health and access further medical tests through their GP if required.
Fully qualified BMI Healthcare doctors and nurses will run the service, carrying out assessments at Stagecoach depots around the country. Employees' health information will be kept completely confidential.
There are two stages to the project. First, employees will be invited for an appointment at their local depot where a healthcare professional will provide basic health screening and blood testing, and determine the employee's risk factors. The test results and factors will then be used to make an assessment of the employee's heart health. Based on the results, some employees will be invited to take part in the second stage of the process.

Following this, staff will be invited to an appointment on the ‘Healthy Heart Bus' where they may be asked to take part in an Exercise Tolerance Test, using an exercise bike to explore their heart health in greater detail. They will then either be provided with information on ways to reduce their risk factors or they will be advised to seek further advice and/or treatment from their local GP.


Souter said: "This kind of personal health check is often only available to senior executives. We felt it was important to extend the service to our frontline employees who serve our customers every day and the Healthy Heart Bus will allow us to do that.
"We are delighted to be launching this ambitious employee benefit which is targeted at preventative healthcare as early intervention can save lives."