Our Volunteering Team have continued to work throughout 2021 to expand our non-emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS) via both patient facing and non-patient facing roles.
Despite the ongoing challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present, between 1 April 2021 and 12 January 2022, the team has undertaken an impressive 187,775 miles of driving patients to their vital scheduled appointments at hospital.
The team have had their efforts and contributions recognised via one award and three award nominations during the past twelve months – winning the South Derbyshire Community Hero Award.
Debra Dudley, NEPTS Service Improvement Lead said: “I’m so proud of our volunteers who remain committed to delivering outstanding care to our patients, and we feel privileged to be able to provide both them and their families, the reassurance that they will get to their vital scheduled appointments on time.
"We do more than simply take our patients from A to B. We offer patients a caring and empathetic service, supporting their safe and timely transfer to and from hospital.
“I’m currently engaged in a piece of work with Volunteer Managers from other ambulance services across the country to develop a support network with the intention of sharing good practices and successes with colleagues.
“We’re leading the way at EMAS. I believe this is because of our volunteers’ passion and dedication in reducing anxiety that our patients may have otherwise faced in figuring out alternative modes of transport, which would not be able to meet their specific needs throughout their journey.”
While the majority of the NEPTS Volunteering Team’s work is patient-facing, there are now also some non-patient facing roles with the primary focus being on supporting patient-facing volunteers access PPE, claim packs, equipment top-ups and providing a listening service for volunteers who need to talk or share any concerns.
As the Volunteering Team continues to evidence going from strength to strength, a decision was made to extend the temporary contract for the Volunteer Team Administrator post in Derbyshire for a further six months, using funds provided from NHS England.
Joy Weldin, Head of Patient Transport Services said: “We’re thrilled that NHS England recognises how vital our volunteers are to delivering outstanding care to our non-emergency patients, which allows our ambulance crews to respond to patients experiencing life-threatening emergencies.
“The administrator in our team will continue to allow patient-facing volunteers to continue focusing on what matters most, developing their relationships based on trust and commitment, with our patients that rely on our services.
“We have decided to apply for further funding, which will mean we can utilise another administrator to support the further development of a volunteering team in Northamptonshire, using the existing model in Derbyshire.”
In 2019, before the pandemic, Sandra Miles invited us along to gain an insight into what she does and why she enjoys volunteering.
Do you want to belong to an award-winning team of volunteers who are motivated by making a positive difference? Apply to be a Volunteer Car Driver