Volunteer Drivers – North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

1st July 2020

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The Volunteer Driver Service is a dedicated team committed to ensuring that patients arrive on time for their hospital appointments and are helped home after discharge from hospital.

The service operates from Monday to Friday and the drivers manage their own rota. Their success depends on working closely with teams within the Trust. Our switchboard staff handle the bookings, and forward these to the drivers for scheduling. The drivers work closely with all wards and areas to ensure patients are collected, looked after, and taken home.

‘Thank you’ cards from patients are a regular occurrence, and many make donations to the hospital charitable fund because the service is a lifeline. The team not only helps patients travel to and from hospital, they also provide befriending, particularly to those patients who are lonely and isolated.

One of the drivers, Colin Ogden, offers his time to chat to new volunteers. He also speaks to staff about the service, helping to reduce worries they may have about the patient getting home.

The team recently won a Trust award which recognises the outstanding contribution and teamwork that has led to reducing patient discharge times and helping patients home more quickly.