Patient groups in bid to help the vulnerable

Charlotte Bonser, right, pictured at the launch of the  Leighton Buzzard Patient Participation Group  in 2013

Charlotte Bonser, right, pictured at the launch of the Leighton Buzzard Patient Participation Group in 2013

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Elderly and disabled patients may soon have a helping hand in getting to hospital – as Leighton’s patient participation groups are attempting to set up a voluntary transport scheme.

After noting the increasing amount of vulnerable people who face extreme difficulty in getting to hospital appointments in Milton Keynes and Luton, the town’s patient network group has set up a working group in an attempt to solve the problem.

Under consideration is a scheme in which a charitable trust would be set up to fund the journeys of a team of 10-15 volunteer drivers.

Charlotte Bonser, former chair of the PPG network group, told the LBO: “Things are progressing very well.

“Bedfordshire CCG runs a scheme but it is very tight – you virtually have to be on oxygen or flat out to get transport.

“Alot of people also get put off when they are told that they are not eligible for it.”

Volunteer drivers recruited for the scheme would use their own vehicles, but would be paid for mileage.

They would also undergo background checks for the safety of patients, who would not pay a penny for the transport.

Charlotte added: “If we get the drivers on board it could be a big scheme.”

> Those who wish to help are invited to a meeting at Pages Park Pavilion from 2pm-4pm on Wednesday, June 22.