East and North Herts NHS Trust calls for more volunteer drivers to provide patient transport

Patient Michael Brown (left) with volunteer driver David Scrutton. Picture: Courtesy of the East and North Hertfordshire...

Patient Michael Brown (left) with volunteer driver David Scrutton. Picture: Courtesy of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust - Credit: Archant

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is appealing for more volunteer drivers to provide patient transport.

There are opportunities for drivers local to Stevenage to support patients either attending the town’s Lister Hospital for treatment, or being discharged back home – and drivers are also needed to help renal patients attend their three times a week haemodialysis appointments at the trust’s satellite dialysis units in St Albans, Luton, Bedford and Harlow.

Speaking about how volunteer driver Robert Annett has changed her life for the better, patient Helena Sarafin said: “Robert picking me up and taking me home has had a great impact on my home life.

“I’m always at home early enough for my husband’s carer to go home on time, rather than staying late to wait for me to get back from having dialysis – and it means I am now at home with my husband more.”

Fellow patient Michael Brown is also full of praise for his volunteer driver David Scrutton. He said: “David is a nice, friendly person who makes it so easy for me as I’m not looking out of the window for the ambulance now. If David says he will be at my house at a certain time, he is there.”

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Claire Lyon, volunteer services manager at the NHS trust, said: “We are thankful to all those who have offered their time and support both before and during the pandemic, and are now keen to recruit more volunteer drivers to help our patients get to their appointments as services continue.

“If you are friendly, reliable and will maintain patient confidentiality at all times, we would love to hear from you.”

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Volunteer drivers will need to provide evidence that they have a clean and current driving licence, fully comprehensive insurance cover and use of a vehicle that is taxed and MOT tested.

Interested volunteers will also be asked to complete an application form which includes questions about their health, age and ethnicity so a risk assessment can be undertaken in light of the evidence of the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has on certain groups. There are also measures in place to protect both volunteers and the patients who use the service.

To find out more, and for an application form, email volunteer.enh-tr@nhs.net or call 01438 284760.

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