Trust seeks volunteer drivers to help local people attend NHS appointments
Do you want to give something back to your community and help patients where you live?
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust is looking for more volunteers to sign up to their Hospital Car Service which plays an essential role in supporting patients who have routine NHS appointments.
The Trust already has around 20 volunteer car drivers across Torbay and South Devon who take patients (with no mobility problems) to and from hospital and treatment centres. However, the Trust is looking for 10 additional volunteer drivers to join its ranks and the Trust is urging drivers who are thinking of volunteering to come forward.
Jacky Hall, Control Team Leader in the Transport Department for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our volunteers provide invaluable support to patients and staff and we’re sure that any volunteer would find this extremely rewarding. The volunteer car service plays an essential role providing patient care and we are always seeking new recruits.
“Many patients will be travelling to hospital for the first time in many years whereas others will make regular journeys. It can be stressful for the patient, irrespective of the number of times they visit hospital, so a friendly face and understanding attitude will always put them at ease.”
Prospective volunteers will need to pass an enhanced disclosure and barring service check (DBS), be in good health, hold a clean driving licence and have a safe, clean and reliable four-door vehicle. Volunteers are not paid for their time but do receive an allowance to compensate for driving expenses.
Michael Hughes a volunteer hospital service car driver in Torbay and South Devon for more than 11 years, said: “I thoroughly enjoy volunteering for the Hospital Car Service as being a volunteer enables me to give something back to the community and help those who are in a time of need.
“I would say that qualities needed to be a part of the car service include being flexible, compassionate, being able to listen to people as well as be discreet. I get a huge sense of fulfilment in this role by ensuring people reach their appointment on time but also just being able to talk to them. In my time I have heard numerous heart-breaking but also heart-warming stories and often people just need a friendly face and someone to talk to on the way to their appointment, as it helps to alleviate anxieties and apprehension they may be feeling.”
Any volunteers need to be aged 18 – 69 and must be able to commit to volunteering at least two full days a week including evenings and weekends. No experience is necessary as training will be provided to support this role.
If you think you can help as a volunteer hospital car service driver, or for further information, please contact Jacky Hall (Control Team Leader in the Transport Department) on 01803 656796 or visit:www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/services/patient-transport-services/voluntary-car-drivers/