Developing a hospital travel plan: process and baseline findings from a western Sydney hospitalNick Petrunoff A F , Chris Rissel B , Li Ming Wen A , Huilan Xu A , David Meikeljohn C and Anthony Schembri D E
A Health Promotion Service, South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts, Level 9 North, King George V Building, Missenden Rd, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Huilan.email@example.com
B Prevention Research Collaboration, Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Level 2, Medical Foundation Building, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
C UrbanTrans Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd, Level 3/246 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3000, Australia. Email: email@example.com
D General Manager’s Unit, Liverpool Hospital, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool BC NSW 1871, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
E South Western Sydney Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
F Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
Australian Health Review 37(5) 579-584 https://doi.org/10.1071/AH13006
Submitted: 2 August 2012 Accepted: 29 January 2013 Published: 24 May 2013
Objective. To describe the development of a hospital travel plan and report baseline findings.
Methods. The development of a travel plan involved an assessment of organisational barriers and enablers to travel planning, auditing of the transport to and physical environment of the hospital, a staff survey, analysis of distances staff travel to work and interviews with hospital managers.
Results. There were no significant organisational impediments to, and consistent managerial support for a travel plan. The staff survey response rate was similar to response rates in workplace surveys delivered mostly online via all staff emails (n = 804, 25%). The majority (83%) of respondents drove to work on most days during the week of the survey, and the majority of drivers (58%) said they were not trying to reduce their car use and not thinking of doing so. Half (47%) of all hospital staff (n = 3222) lived within 10 km and 25% lived within 5 km. People living 5–10km from the hospital were more likely to be active travellers than were those living less than 5 km from the hospital (AOR 2.7, 95% (CI): 1.6–4.5), as were male than female staff (AOR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1–2.9).
Conclusions. The process and baseline findings described in this paper are a useful reference for Australian hospitals developing travel plans.
What is known about the topic? Concerns about congestion, parking restrictions and a sedentary workforce have prompted interest in workplace travel plans. Organisational travel plans show promise for decreasing car use and improving employee health.
What does this paper add? This paper describes a process and planning tools for developing a travel plan that is practical for use in Australian hospitals. It reports original data on travel modes for hospital staff, and identifies factors associated with walking and cycling to work. These include living closer to work and being male.
What are the implications for practitioners? Australian hospitals can use the approach and process described to develop their own travel plans. The data on travel modes to work are a potential reference point for other healthcare organisations.
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