Background – Hart Voluntary Action was contacted by one of the Patient Transport co-ordinators for the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford, which has a specialist unit for cancer treatment. She was trying to arrange transport for an elderly female client living in Hart, who needed to attend 5 separate appointments for cancer treatment on 5 successive days. The client did not want to use the hospital patient transport because her husband has advanced dementia and is agitated when his wife is away for a periods of time, and hospital transport is unpredictable in terms of waiting times. The Hospital had tried to request volunteer transport via the Goodsamm App for NHS Volunteers, but none had come forward.
Action Taken – Hart District Council arranged back-up taxi transport for each day and booked this in using Hardship Fund funding. However, the HVA Volunteer Centre Manager was determined to find a volunteer solution to this request. Contact was made with the parish volunteer lead who as it turned out knew the couple well – the husband had been a volunteer driver himself for one of the Neighbourcare groups – so the offer was made to ensure that husband would be looked after whilst the client was away at her appointment.
Working with Rushmoor Voluntary Services, it was arranged that the same volunteer driver (a Lions Club member) would carry out the transport to hospital each day using one of the RVS minibuses with PPE provided by the hospital. Full details of plans were shared with the Patient Transport Co-ordinator, who would be able to alert hospital staff if there were any issues with late arrival so that the client’s appointment could be moved back if needed. Arrangements were also made for suitable parking for the minibus as close as possible to the cancer treatment centre. In the event all five journeys passed off without incident and the client was able to receive her treatment without undue additional worry.
‘Hi Sue Thank you so much! You have been a lifesaver. Have a lovely weekend. Barbara
Royal Surrey Hospital Non-Emergency Patient Transport Liaison’