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Volunteers needed to drive patients

19 September 2012

Volunteer drivers are being recruited to be a part of an improved system to transport patients to hospital appointments and day centres.

Currently, staff from the Jersey Ambulance Service transport patients to and from their hospital appointments and day centres in specialist minibuses. However, some patients are transported by a small but efficient volunteer workforce using their own cars.

A recent service review has shown that more journeys could be safely undertaken by volunteers, allowing ambulance staff to focus on those patients requiring more specialist supervision during transport. There will be no job losses in the Ambulance Service.

This new approach, which is already working well in some parts of the UK, will be more cost effective. It will also provide more flexibility so that eligible Islanders can be confident that suitable transport will be available for them.

It is anticipated that up to 10 new volunteer drivers can be recruited and although they will not be paid a wage they will receive a mileage allowance. Volunteers will be asked to take a simple driving assessment and have a criminal records check which is normal for staff who come into contact with patients.

It is hoped that new volunteers will be trained and in place ready to join the existing team by January 2013.

John Sutherland, Acting Chief Officer for the Ambulance Service said "We are really pleased to be able to offer Islanders a better service through this initiative which complements the work of the Ambulance Service. We feel that this move has two real benefits. Firstly, it means that our staff  have more time to spend with the patients who really need their assistance, and secondly, Islanders who use the service should find it more convenient, possibly have less waiting and travelling time."

People interested in this valuable volunteering role can find out more at an open day which will take place at the Ambulance Station on 6 October from 10am to 1pm. 

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