Lucy Johnston2021

Could you help patients travel home safely from hospital this winter?

A Grampian-wide search to help find new volunteer community transport drivers was launched in December.

Community transport plays a vital role for those who need help travelling to health and social care appointments. As the NHS enters a busy winter period, supporting patients who are ready to travel home after their stay can make an enormous difference to services and their availability.

The recruitment drive hopes to attract volunteers able to drive either their own vehicle, or potentially, one provided to them. The Royal Voluntary Service will manage volunteers and assist the efforts being made to support the NHS and Patient Transport Service. Depending on circumstances interested individuals may be signposted to other Community Transport organisations.

Volunteers will receive full training and a risk assessment, as well as reimbursement of costs incurred.

A variety of partners support the initiative as part of the Grampian-wide  (HTAP).

Health and Transport Action Plan Programme Manager, Andrew Stewart, said, “Winter is always a busy time for health services, and more so this year as it comes with additional challenges. This recruitment drive focuses onHealth and Transport Action Plan helping people home from hospital. The flow of patients in and out of hospital over winter is of critical importance to managing the capacity of the NHS and helping people home safely.

“At our recent Grampian Volunteer Transport Awards, we recognised the fantastic impact that these volunteers make to people’s lives, particularly during the pandemic where they have proven to be a lifeline for many in our communities.”

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer, please contact 01467 536111 or e-mail travel@thinc-hub.org.