A HOSPITAL consultant in the frontline of the fight against coronavirus has called for a “grown-up discussion” around changes be believes would have a major impact on health and the environment.

Dr Richard Hixson, a consultant in critical care at Darlington Memorial Hospital, has unveiled a vision based around the electrification of the town’s bus fleet, with routes and a timetable designed around the shift patterns of NHS workers.

The vision includes health staff receiving discounted travel as a way of boosting morale and retention levels, with the potential to involve a private sector partner, such as Amazon.

Dr Hixson, who has stressed he is speaking out in a personal capacity, has praised the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust, for its response to the pandemic.

But, as a keen environmentalist, he believes an electrified public transport system would have huge benefits to both health and the environment.

The Northern Echo: Dr Richard HixsonDr Richard Hixson

“These are difficult times, but good things can result from this pandemic. We can’t miss the opportunity for a grown-up discussion around ambitious changes that can have a lasting impact.”