Do you have the drive to volunteer?
Date: 02 June 2016
Do you want to give something back to your community and help patients where you live?
We are looking for more volunteers to sign up to our ambulance car service (ACS) which provides an “essential role” for patients who have routine NHS appointments.
The Trust already has around 300 volunteer car drivers across the region who take patients with no mobility problems to and from hospital and treatment centres.
Drivers who are thinking of volunteering are being urged to come forward during National Volunteers’ Week in the areas where EEAST runs Patient Transport Service (PTS) contracts in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney, north-east Essex, and west Essex.
The non-emergency service makes around 500,000 patient journeys every year using special vehicles for patients who are elderly, disabled and frail or with mobility or medical needs, but who are able to sit comfortably in a standard saloon car.
Gill Briggs, from EEAST’s PTS team, said: “The ambulance car service plays an essential role providing patient care and we are always seeking new recruits, particularly in Cambridgeshire and west Essex at the moment.
“For the patients they help, ACS volunteers are the face of the service. Many 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 license 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.
Tom Pimble, a volunteer car driver in Waveney for more than 20 years, said: “This gives me something to give back to the community and I think we are very needed in the community because of the flexibility the cars give rather than tying down ambulance crews on unnecessary journeys. You have to be prepared to be flexible, compassionate and to be able to listen to people and be discreet.”
For more information, visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/volunteer-car-driver.htm or email ACS@eastamb.nhs.uk for an application.
All week, EEAST is highlighting the work of its volunteers as part of National Volunteers’ Week, which runs until 12th June. This includes our CFR takeover week from the 6th where we will be sharing stories, blogs and videos featuring our community first responders.
Get in gear and volunteer in 2016