27 January 2021- With the tightening of the measures against the coronavirus, and the recent OMT advice published for the transport of risk groups, the safety protocols for care and taxi transport made stricter. The Royal Dutch Transport sector organization (KNV), together with FNV and CNV, drew up the modified protocols. They made use of advice from, among others, the RIVM and agreed with client organisations, the Association for the Handicapped Care Netherlands (VGN), the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) and the ministries of VWS and OCW.
For adjusting the healthcare transport protocol for passengers from 18 year, the
OMT advice has been followed, which indicates that extra measures are required for the transport of risk groups. This is in view of the spread of (the variants of) the coronavirus. The most important tightening up is that travelers must wear a surgical mask and that there will be a maximum in the occupancy of the vehicles (only one seat occupied per bench or row of seats, whereby travelers do not take place directly behind each other or directly behind the driver. that a passenger in a wheelchair occupies is regarded as one seat).
Furthermore, the protocol includes care transport for passengers up to 17 year it has been included that students who are transported to and from secondary special education (VSO) must wear a non-medical mouth cap as much as possible during transport.
Additional costs and capacity
Due to the tightening of care transport for passengers from 18 years, additional costs for clients are unavoidable. After all, fewer clients/passengers can be transported together. Drivers must also use protective and cleaning products and extra time is needed for cleaning and airing the vehicle on every journey.
KNV, FNV and CNV are happy with the commitment of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport last year that additional costs that public clients (think of municipalities and healthcare institutions) and healthcare insurers have to choose due to the corona crisis will be compensated by the government. It is a pity, however, that the discussions about reimbursing additional costs by clients to healthcare carriers in practice have so far been slow and difficult in many places.
The tightening of the maximum number travelers by vehicle in the healthcare transport protocol (from 18 year) therefore has consequences for the capacity. First in the transport to and from daytime activities, because that is where the average vehicle occupancy is usually highest and all clients have to be transported during a morning and afternoon peak time. Perhaps immediately, but certainly as soon as schools open again and demand-dependent care transport (Wmo, Valys) increases, solutions must be sought in consultation between care institutions and transporters (for example, further spreading the transport over the day).
KNV: realistic start date February 8
KNV chairman Bertho Eckhardt: “Our members are doing their best to implement the changes to the protocols as quickly as possible. But above all the maximization of the number of passengers in the vehicles has major practical consequences. This requires consultation with clients and clients to adjust routes and spread arrival and departure times if necessary. . The healthcare carriers think Monday 8 February is a realistic start date. Where it can be done sooner in consultation with clients, this will certainly happen.”
FNV: drivers with concerns in consultation with employer
FNV director Meindert Gorter: “We see that by tightening the Cabinet measures and the great media attention for them, the concerns among our members are increasing. It is therefore good that we are strengthening the protocols. Where drivers are still concerned about their safety, it is important to discuss this with your employer. This is especially true if you belong to a risk group yourself. If you are unable to resolve it, please contact the union.”
CNV Professionals: protocol is a living document and can be modified if circumstances require
Director CNV Vakmensen Agostino di Giacomo Russo: “We have discussed the content of the sector protocols in close consultation since the start of the corona crisis. What is necessary to be able to do the transport safely and to remove any concerns. Perhaps in the coming weeks, things will come up again that we have to respond to with our protocols. Then we will release an update.”
All protocols are here
to find back.