Volunteer hospital drivers urgently needed to support NHS

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(Last Updated On: July 8, 2020)

Your hospital needs you: Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust is looking for volunteer drivers to take patients to their routine appointments.

More drivers are required to join the Hospital Car Service and play an essential role in supporting patients who have routine NHS appointments.

If you are able to commit to at least two weekly time slots (to suit your availability), are aged 18 – 69 and have a safe clean and reliable four-door vehicle you may be exactly the person needed.

The volunteer car service plays an important role in providing patient care and new recruits are needed urgently.

Many patients will be travelling to the hospital for the first time in many years whereas others will make regular journeys. It can be stressful for the patient, regardless of how many times they visit hospital, so a driver with a friendly face and understanding attitude will always put them at ease.

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.”

He said important qualities of a volunteer driver include being flexible, compassionate and having the ability to listen to people and be discreet.

Michael added: “I get a huge sense of fulfilment by ensuring people reach their appointment on time and by talking to them. I’ve heard numerous heart-breaking, but also heartwarming stories. 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.”

No experience is necessary, as training will be provided to support this role. Prospective volunteers will need to be in good health and hold a clean driving licence. Personal protection equipment, disinfectant and guidance is provided.

Volunteers are not paid for their time but do receive an allowance to compensate for driving expenses.
Volunteer recruitment checks will need to be completed, including an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, occupational health clearance, and driving assessment.

If you think you can help as a volunteer, or for further information, please contact the
Volunteer Services on 01803 210519 or email volunteers.sdhct@nhs.net.

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