Staff and volunteers attending the launch at Beaumont Hospital
Date: 
October 9, 2019

Free hospital transfer now available for cancer patients at Beaumont Hospital

Irish Cancer Society Volunteer Driver Service will provide lifts to patients undergoing chemotherapy

Patients undergoing chemotherapy at Beaumont Hospital can now avail of transport to take them to and from hospital visits.

The new service for Beaumont will remove the stress and worry from patients who need transport to the hospital for treatment. It also removes the need for dependency on family and friends who often find it difficult to take time off work for their loved one’s appointments.

Patients from Dublin, Meath and Kildare will be able to access the service immediately with plans to roll it out to patients in Louth, Cavan and Monaghan in coming weeks.

Volunteer drivers recruited by the Irish Cancer Society will provide lifts for people throughout their chemotherapy treatment.

Most volunteers are booked for one or two drives per month and a contribution is paid towards their fuel, all road tolls and some refreshments during the day.

The addition of the Volunteer Driver Service at Beaumont Hospital, which has been running since June, means the service is now operational in every public hospital offering chemotherapy nationwide.

Speaking at the launch, Irish Cancer Society CEO Averil Power said, “This service was created when we heard of the added stress organising transport to and from appointments was having on patients and their families. Being able to take that burden off someone during one of the hardest times of their lives is hugely important for us at the Irish Cancer Society and wouldn’t be possible without our amazing volunteers. I am delighted to be launching the service here in Beaumont Hospital which now makes the Volunteer Driver Service accessible in every public hospital in Ireland that provides chemotherapy.”

Mary McAndrew, a Multiple Myeloma patient, has used the Volunteer Driver Service to take her to treatment in Tallaght Hospital since 2016. She added, “Knowing you have your transport to chemotherapy sorted is like having a weight lifted off your shoulders. I have a wonderful family and lots of friends, but all of them have their own lives to lead so it’s fantastic that I can get that practical support elsewhere. The volunteer drivers provide so much more than a drive. They are like my security blanket. They give emotional support and they know when you need a chat, and more importantly when you don’t. I can’t recommend this service enough.”

Pauline Ackermann, Head of Clinical Services at Beaumont Hospital, added, “We have been offering this service in the hospital since June and we have seen it go from strength to strength. We aim to deliver the highest quality of care to our patients and this service will ensure chemotherapy patients feel supported on a practical level throughout their treatment. It has been embraced by hospital staff at all levels and we look forward to a positive and productive relationship with the Irish Cancer Society in developing this service.”

Since it began, the service has made an enormous impact in the lives of cancer patients. In Dublin alone, volunteer drivers have clocked up a distance of over half a million kilometres bringing 1,176 patients to appointments.

For further information on how to access the service call Call the Volunteer Driver Service team on 01 2310 522 or to become a volunteer driver, contact the Irish Cancer Society at transport@irishcancer.ie or call (01) 2310566 or (01) 2310594.