Since early 2006, patients going to Addenbrookes Hospital for radiotherapy treatment have been able to travel in comfort using to a car service which is thought to be unique in the NHS. Patients are collected from their homes in comfortable Vauxhall Zafira cars, taken straight to the radiotherapy department at Addenbrookes and returned to their homes as soon as their treatment (which often takes only a few minutes) is completed. Patients often have daily treatment for 3 to 6 weeks which necessitates multiple journeys.
Of the four cars which provide the service, three have been purchased by the Charity and the fourth is provided free by Vauxhall Motors. Financial support is also given by Michael R Peters. The drivers are all volunteers recruited from the community. They are coordinated by Delphi Ellis on behalf of the Charity and their work is directed by the East of England Ambulance Trust. Over the seven years that the service has been running approximately 8,000 patient-journeys have been completed and the cars have travelled 400,000 miles.
Typical comments from patients – ‘The service was outstanding … I am so grateful not only for the service itself but for the support of the drivers in coping with the experience of treatment.’ ‘To the brilliant Primrose drivers and organisers – many, many thanks’ ‘Drivers were always polite and helped to find the reception desk when needed.’ ‘Thank you so much for your kindness and support over the last three weeks.’ ‘This service is magnificent. It is reassuring, efficient and reduces anxiety at a stressful time. The drivers are wonderful and give their time freely.’