A friendly face and a listening ear - could you be a volunteer hospital car driver in Cambridgeshire?

Volunteer driver Tom Pimble

Volunteer driver Tom Pimble - Credit: Archant

A plea has gone out for people to become volunteer ambulance car service drivers to help get patients to routine NHS appointments.

Gill Briggs, of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Many will be travelling to hospital for the first time in years whereas others will make regular journeys.

“It can be stressful for the patient, irrespective of the number of times they visit hospital, so a friendly face and understanding attitude will always put them at ease.

“The ambulance car service plays an essential role providing patient care and we are always seeking new recruits, particularly in Cambridgeshire.”

The Trust already has around 300 volunteer car drivers across the region who take patients with no mobility problems to and from hospital and treatment centres.

The non-emergency service makes around 500,000 patient journeys a year using special vehicles for patients who are elderly, disabled and frail or with mobility or medical needs, but who are able to sit comfortably in a standard saloon car.

Prospective volunteers will need to pass an enhanced disclosure and barring service check (DBS), be in good health, hold a clean driving licence and have a safe, clean and reliable four-door vehicle.

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Volunteers are not paid for their time but do receive an allowance to compensate for driving expenses.

Tom Pimble, a volunteer car driver for more than 20 years, said: “This gives me something to give back to the community.

“You have to be prepared to be flexible, compassionate and to be able to listen to people and be discreet.”

For more information, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/volunteer-car-driver.htm or email ACS@eastamb.nhs.uk for an application.