Call for more non-emergency patient transport drivers

A new push to get more people to volunteer to become non-emergency patient transport drivers has been launched in the west of Norfolk.

Voluntary Norfolk recruits, trains and supports volunteer drivers, who use their own vehicles to transport patients to and from essential healthcare appointments for ERS Medical.

To encourage people to sign up, Voluntary Norfolk staff and volunteers will be touring libraries next week across the west of the county.

Ian Whiting who oversees the volunteer drivers for Voluntary Norfolk will be showcasing what is involved and how to volunteer at the libraries in Downham Market on Tuesday (20th September) morning and later that day in Swaffham. On Thursday (22nd September) morning he will be in Fakenham Library and later that day in Dereham Library, before spending Friday (23rd September) morning in the libraries of Kings Lynn from 10am to midday and then Gaywood from 2pm to 4pm.

Ian Whiting, Voluntary Norfolk’s Volunteer Coordinator for the ERS Medical Service, said:

“This is a vital role that makes such a difference to people when they need it most. Volunteer drivers not only reduce the need for ambulance journeys but also save the NHS huge sums in taxi fares. The dedication and enthusiasm of volunteer drivers and the profound impact they have on people’s lives is highlighted by the fact that several patients later volunteer with us when they have recovered. If you have a few hours free each week, I cannot think of a better way to improve the lives of patients in West Norfolk and indeed across Norfolk generally.”

Last year, Voluntary Norfolk’s team of volunteer drivers made over 11,000 journeys transporting patients to essential medical appointments.

Keith King, who helps as one of Voluntary Norfolk’s patient transport drivers said:

“Having been a patient and a volunteer I have seen this from both sides. Having volunteer drivers helps to spread the workload across the NHS as I doubt that all the patients, who qualify for transport, would have been able to benefit from, free, door to door transportation. Many of the patients are amazed at what we offer and could not see how they would have managed without us.”

He continued:

“I absolutely would recommend volunteering. It gets you out of the house, gets you meeting other people, provides an amazing service and gives me great satisfaction when I realise that I have helped someone. What more could I ask for?”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer driver, go to: