Thanks for Fife’s patient transport volunteers

Volunteers were presented with certificates of thanks at an event in Aberdour recently.
Volunteers were presented with certificates of thanks at an event in Aberdour recently.

A group of Fife-based volunteers were given special thanks for their dedication to helping others recently.

The volunteers for St John Scotland’s Patient Transport service give up their own time to help local patients get to hospital for dialysis treatment.

Patients living with chronic kidney disease must attend dialysis treatment three times every week, often for years at a time, until they are able to receive a kidney transplant.

Treatments take around three hours, and many patients face uncomfortable journeys and long waits for transport before and after treatments.

The volunteer drivers pick up patients from home as early as 5am to get to the first treatment of the day at 7am, using a dedicated fleet of cars so patients can travel in comfort.

The service, which is provided free of charge, launched in Fife in 2017 taking patients from across the Kingdom to Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital.

In February 2018 it expanded to serve those attending the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy too.

And since its launch the volunteers have contributed more than 5600 hours of time and driven 76,500 miles.

Each volunteer received a certificate of thanks.

Lesley MacDonald, chairman of St John Scotland in Fife, said: “The patients value the St John Scotland service so much, and our volunteers play an absolutely vital role in delivering it.

“As well as benefiting the patients, the service also alleviates the burden on the NHS and frees up hours and commitment from the Scottish Ambulance Service, who otherwise provide transport to patients.

“This event is our way of saying thank you to all our volunteer drivers for the selfless work they do to help others.

“And to thank the drivers’ families for their support to enable them to provide this invaluable service and help patients from across Fife.”

The St John Scotland team are keen to hear from more Fifers who would be interested in volunteering as a Patient Transport driver.

Anyone aged between 25-70 with a valid driving licence, who is keen to help patients in their community, is encouraged to get in touch by emailing volunteer@stjohnscotland.org.uk

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