For patients: how to be referred to the Volunteer Driver Service

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Until you have to walk in my shoes, you don't realise the value of these volunteers. I thank my angels of mercy, the volunteer drivers, who rescue me every month, and take me as I am.

Mary, Kildare
Mary McAndrew and Gary Keogh

Are you a patient looking to be referred to the Volunteer Driver Service?

If you think the Volunteer Driver Service would be of benefit to you and you’d like to access it, below are some steps that you will need to take.            

  • First, speak to your healthcare professional (either a social worker or your oncology nurse) in one of our partnered hospitals, who will discuss with you whether the service is suitable for your needs (unfortunately the Volunteer Driver Service isn't suitable for everyone but the healthcare professional can talk you through this).
  • If the hospital refers you, then the team in the office will be in contact with you regarding your first appointment.
  • Once the office takes your first treatment appointment, you will need to call in all subsequent appointments through the  service booking line on 01 2310 522 or email  giving at least three full working days in advance.
  • Once we have your appointment time and date, we'll then start contacting our national team of Volunteer Drivers to see who is available? Although we can’t guarantee that we will find a driver for every single appointment, we do guarantee to try our best.
  • So, once we have located a driver and they are available to take that drive, the Volunteer Driver will contact you, the patient, directly day or two before the appointment to introduce themselves and re-confirm details of the appointment. If needed, you can give them directions to your house; confirm whether a companion will be accompanying you; whether you are bringing any equipment with you; pick-up time; etc.
  • On the day of the drive itself, at the agreed pick up time, the driver will arrive outside the door of your home to bring you to the hospital for your treatment. This service is door-to-door service - from your door, to the hospital door, and back to your door again.
  • Before you leave the car to go into the hospital for treatment the driver will give you their contact details. About 30 minutes before you are ready to leave the hospital, you will need to contact the driver so that they can start making their way back to the hospital to collect you at the hospital door and return you to your home.
  • This service is completely free to the patient, so drivers are not allowed to accept gifts or money for driving you. All driver expenses are paid by the Society.

Changes to your appointment

If your appointment schedule changes, as can happen, please let us know as soon as possible. It is the patient's responsibility to communicate all treatment or schedule changes to the Volunteer Driver Service team in the office on (01) 231 0522.  Please do not contact the driver directly. We understand that this can be a difficult time for patients and their families so we will try to do our best and accommodate as many scheduled appointments as possible. Please do give us as much notice as you can. 

About our drivers and the Volunteer Driver Service

  • All our Volunteer Drivers undergo checks before they are able to transport patients on this service. Volunteers are interviewed, trained (boundaries, confidentiality, data protection, etc), reference checked and Garda vetted.  Drivers must commit to attending a Support & Supervision session held annually. 
  • When we initially partner with a hospital, we meet with their portering and car parking services to ensure that they are aware of the programme and are supportive of it. This ensures continuity of service between the Volunteer Driver Service and the hospital staff and maximum support for the patient.
  • There is no hospital parking available to drivers, without cost. The service operates in hospitals on a set down service only so allowing the drivers 30 mins to get back to the hospital door is necessary. 

Need more information about the Volunteer Driver Service? Visit our Volunteer Driver Service page or call the Volunteer Driver Service team on (01) 231 0522, or email

For more information

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(01) 231 0522

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