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What’s The Difference Between a Mobile Clinic and a Medical Bus?

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What’s The Difference Between a Mobile Clinic and a Medical Bus?

RSP15 Ethicon Single Decker Training Bus

A bus to connect with patients. A bus to connect with clinicians. But which is which?

Think medical bus and your mind might leap to the vaccination and Covid testing vehicles used throughout the Covid pandemic. In Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, for example, the local council asked us to convert two buses into Covid testing stations.

Yet you don’t have to be in the middle of a pandemic to benefit from the unique power of a mobile clinic vehicle or medical bus. But what’s the difference between the two?

What is a mobile clinic vehicle?

A mobile clinic bus helps you take medical services to patients, rather than the patients travelling long distances to reach you. They can be used as:

  • Mobile clinics: When permanent health facilities are either in short supply or under renovation, hiring a mobile clinic as a base of operations can be an essential stopgap
  • Mobile dental vehicles: Particularly valuable for locations with few dental services (and even fewer NHS ones)
  • Mobile occupational health units: Great for larger employers looking for a way of delivering on-site healthcare in a way that powerfully demonstrates a commitment to staff wellbeing, but also helps to reduce the amount of in-work time lost to attending medical appointments
  • Mobile counselling vehicles: As above, but with a focus on mental health and wellbeing, specifically in relation to patients going through challenging treatments. In Hull, for example, we converted a health check bus into a vehicle that could offer massage and counselling services as part of CandleLighters’ support for children dealing with cancer
  • Mobile health screening vehicles – if you’re running a specific health campaign, a branded mobile health screening or support bus can be the focal point of the exercise, providing dedicated, branded space that stands out in every location. That’s what we did with The Diabetes Bus for The Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Mobile health campaign vehicles: From healthy eating to wellbeing to promoting health screening (like this men’s health campaign onboard our single decker bus Norman), when you want to raise awareness of your health campaign, taking it mobile means many more people can engage with it.

Sometimes our buses are hired by NHS trusts. Sometimes they’re rented by local councils. Sometimes they’re projects carried out in partnership between ourselves, NHS trusts and private medical device or pharmaceutical companies, like this Smoking Cessation Tour in collaboration with Pfizer and NHS trusts in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.

What is a medical bus?

Here’s a simple example of the power of a medical bus. When Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon wanted to showcase its surgical tools and anatomical models for use by the medical profession, we took them on a 15 week tour of the UK and Ireland. Onboard were a series of workstations for surgeons to get hands on with devices, together with discussion areas and branding inside and out.

This campaign was completed onboard a converted Corporate Class bus, and you can see more images of the project coming together here.

The real advantage in choosing a mobile medical device tour is that you reach the people you really want to reach. Surgeons don’t need to travel any further than the hospital carpark to discover what you have to show them, which works for the surgeons, their patients and their hospitals.

What’s the difference between a mobile clinic bus and a medical vehicle?

In many ways, that’s for you to decide. Because our buses are endlessly customisable, we don’t set hard and fast restrictions as to what qualifies as a mobile clinic or medical bus – you can blur the lines as much as you like.

In general, however, the difference is about who the campaign is aimed at. Medical buses (by our definition, at least) are designed to welcome the medical profession onboard, introducing them to new devices or clinical/surgical techniques.

Mobile clinic buses are aimed at the general public although, as we’ve already seen, the potential applications of the bus are vast.

In what ways are similar?

Whether you hire a medical vehicle or a mobile clinic, you’ll find large parts of the experience are very similar.

You provide the medical expertise; we provide everything else:
We’re not clinicians, so whether you’re explaining the benefits of your new medical device, training clinicians how to use it, or welcoming patients on board your bus, we’ll very happily leave all things medical to you. Everything else, however, from initial campaign ideas to bus conversion to event management (including a bus driver) you can leave to us.

Brand power: The primary impact of your campaign is going to be delivered at each stop on the bus’s tour. Along the way, though, your branding will be seen by everyone it passes – ensuring your message reaches many more people than just those who step onboard.

Easy campaign planning: With the bus conversion complete, your delivery team can focus on ensuring the project meets its objectives, rather than having to book rooms, manage transport logistics and set-up and dismantle displays, treatment areas etc. All we need is space to park the bus.

Our expertise: One thing that never changes, whatever vehicle you hire for your medical campaign, is that with decades of experience from a family-run business, we’ll always make planning your campaign as simple as it is rewarding.

Medical Bus Rental from Roadshow Promotions

Talk to us about your next mobile clinic or medical vehicle campaign now

Our mission is to help our clients do more than catch the eye. We help them connect and engage. Through our promotional marketing tours, we help national organisations and global brands get ‘out there’ and make an impact. Have a look at our bus tour cost calculator. And if you’re not quite sure what you need, or how to make it happen, just ask. Call 01253 923800 or contact us.


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