A ‘booze bus’ to look after town centre drunks is on a trial run in Boston – and the man behind it hopes to make it a permanent service.
The project is the idea of Boston first aid medic Chris Woods, who is calling for the public, police and council to offer support and fundraising.
Mr Woods said he has seen first-hand the ‘strain’ that drink-related patients cause at Pilgrim Hospital and feels the ‘booze bus’ could help.
“I think it would be a really good thing as it would reduce the number of people needing treatment for drink-related things at Pilgrim and also the cost of an ambulance coming out - so all of benefit to the tax payer,” said Mr Woods, 35.
“A few months ago I fell ill and had to go to hospital and I saw the amount of drunks being brought in for staff to deal with. The booze bus would help to keep these less urgent cases out of A&E.”
The idea would be to have a mobile trailer or empty shop in the Market Place with volunteer medics looking after people who have had too much drink. The trial run took place over the weekend, using cars and a private Market Place address, where Mr Woods said about 40 people were treated.
People are given any necessary medical treatment, offered a cup of tea and a chance to rest. Staff then make sure they got home safety by contacting their next of kin.
“I would like to see the booze bus operating on Friday and Saturday nights – but also special times of the year such as Christmas, Boston Bike Night and the May Fair.
Mr Woods, who works for First Aid Medical Supplies Ltd, admits he himself got so drunk aged 18 that he fell asleep outside a pub. “I remember waking and up and not knowing why I was there. But I was lucky nothing worse happened to me.
“It’s important help is there for people, before they get to the stage of collapsing - or trying to walk home alone and putting themselves in danger.”
“I’ve got the backing of the ambulance service and a few people interested have already come forward, including a couple of medics who are willing to volunteer their time.”
Mr Woods said if people came in for care and required more serious hospital treament they would be dropped off at the Pilgrim.Mobile rooms to treat revellers are currently being run in big cities around the UK.
For details about the booze bus or to volunteer email Mr Woods on firstname.lastname@example.org