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Could you help out at Southend Hospital?

03 February 2014


Are you outgoing, like people, want to get out of the house and have a few hours to spare a week?

The hospital's Carecars voluntary driving scheme is looking for people from Leigh, Rochford/Hockley and Shoebury to help drive poorly patients to and from their hospital appointments.

The hospital's voluntary services department would also like to hear from any potential drivers who could help out at short notice and sometimes after 5pm, helping to take cancer patients to and from their chemotherapy appointments.

The Carecars scheme works on a suggested donation of 50p a mile from the patient. Drivers use their own vehicle and are postcode-matched with the patient to keep costs down. Expenses are met by the hospital.

 "The scheme is a brilliant one because it really helps patients who need it," explains Jane O'Connell, voluntary services manager. "Some people cannot rely on friends or family to get a lift, or cannot face the bus or parking once they get here.

"They have regular hospital appointments, and getting to and from the hospital is another stress that our drivers can take away from them.

"Our drivers and booking clerks are a lovely bunch, who provide a door-to-door service for patients. They are kind, discreet and often help to take the patient's mind off their hospital appointment."

Applicants are interviewed, undergo a police check, vehicle and insurance checks and must have a clean driving licence.

To find out more, please call Jane on 01702 435555 ext 6135 or email jane.oconnell@southend.nhs.uk or find the volunteering page by clicking on the 'support us' tab on the right-hand side of the hospital's home page - www.southend.nhs.uk