This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/news/New-Volunteer-Car-Service-Drivers-for-Island.htm
Date: 11 December 2023
Our Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service Patient Transport Service team (PTS) is proud to welcome three new Volunteer Ambulance Car Service drivers (VACS).
From 1 December, Jean-Francois, Paul, and Tim will support the PTS Team to transport eligible patients to non-urgent local and mainland out-patient appointments seven days a week.
Louise Walker, Ambulance Education, Training and Engagement Lead, said:
“The impact and value volunteering brings to patients and staff must not be underestimated; the contribution volunteers can make to overall efforts can hugely reduce pressures across services.
“We are so grateful for all our volunteers who give up their own precious time to assist our Island community.”
The newly enrolled drivers have successfully completed specific training to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide this support safely and effectively. They will be using Isle of Wight NHS Trust PTS Ambulance Service vehicles, including our hybrid models - an important step towards becoming a carbon neutral service.
Many of our patients require the skills and support of the PTS team, this year alone the service has facilitated over 14,000 patient journeys.
Mark Stevens, PTS Service Delivery Officer, said:
“We are confident that this support from Jean-Francois, Paul and Tim will help us to continue to provide the outstanding level of care and support that our patients are used to.
“When we are able to get this help from volunteers to transport patients who have an underlying medical need, such as shielding, it means that we are able to free up our resources to focus on supporting patients who have more complex needs.”
The service supports the NHS long term plan to double the number of volunteers in the NHS by 2030. Thanks to funding secured just over a year ago, from NHS Improvement and NHS England, a scoping exercise was completed and identified numerous patients who would be suitable for a Volunteer Ambulance Car Service.