Volunteer drivers clock up 1.2m miles taking patients to hospital appointments in Yorkshire

Volunteer drivers at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust covered over 1.2 million miles last year - helping patients to make their hospital appointments across the region.

The volunteers use their cars to drive patients to outpatient appointments, with over 130 drivers currently involved and making over 20,000 journeys each month.

Jo Rawnsley, Patient Transport Service volunteer, said: “Our volunteer car service drivers offer a valuable service to the Trust, supporting the wider work of our non-emergency Patient Transport Service and helping eligible patients to get to and from important medical appointments.

“The scheme offers the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, face new challenges and gain experience volunteering in the NHS.

“Many of our volunteers have made lifelong friends through their work at the Trust and list meeting new people and doing something worthwhile to help others as some of the key benefits of getting involved.”

They take patients who struggle for transport to vital medical appointments to try to reduce missed appointments.

To join the Trust’s volunteer car service, drivers need to be aged 18 or over and hold a valid, full UK driving licence with no more than three penalty points on it.

They need access to a car with a minimum of four doors and have to undergo background checks and a health screening medical.

Full training is provided and volunteers are reimbursed for the cost of miles covered under the scheme.

For more information visit www.yas.nhs.uk/WorkingforYAS/PTS_Volunteer.html or call 01924 584131 or 01924 584019.