Lifeline travel link for patients comes to town

Nurses from Kirkcaldy's Victoria Hospital and members of St John Scotland Fife Area Patient Transport service.
Nurses from Kirkcaldy's Victoria Hospital and members of St John Scotland Fife Area Patient Transport service.

A volunteer-run patient transport service, seen as a lifeline to dialysis patients in Fife, has extend its reach to cover Kirkcaldy.

St John Scotland’s Patient Transport service, which transports people to and from hospital appointments, will now serve Victoria Hospital is well as Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital.

Run entirely by volunteers, the service ensures that people arrive safely and on time for vital dialysis appointments, which can last for several hours.

The patient transport team consists of 13 regular drivers and three additional relief drivers. At present, it transports around 22 patients per week to and from appointments.

The service is continually on the lookout for volunteer drivers.

Findlay Macrae, St John Scotland transport co-ordinator, said: “We need people who enjoy interacting with members of the public.

“Come join us and gain the satisfaction of being part of an organisation that really makes such a difference to the life of dialysis patients in Fife.

“Volunteers are welcome from across the Kingdom, as long as they are between 25 – 70 years old and hold a driving licence.”

All passengers are referred to the Patient Transport team by the Scottish Ambulance Service or NHS clinic.

Jann Gardner, NHS Fife interim chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted that the patient transport service has been extended to cover Victoria Hospital.

“Our existing partnership with St John’s Ambulance has been a great success and we look forward to patients requiring dialysis in Kirkcaldy benefitting from a similar service.

“Volunteers are an important part of the NHS, and we are very lucky to be able to rely on such a reliable, hard working team of people who give up their time to help others in need.”

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, urged Fifers to consider joining the team of volunteers.

She said: “While some patients are fortunate enough to have family and friends to transport them to outpatient appointments, there are significant numbers of people for whom that is not an option.

“The transportation service provided by St John Scotland is marvellous and provides a vital role helping patients with chronic health needs access regular and essential renal treatment in hospital.

“I would urge people with some time to spare to consider becoming a volunteer driver, to help make this new phase of the service a success - and make a real difference to people’s quality of life.”

If anyone is interested in finding out more, please contact us at or call 07748 837729.”