St Peter’s Hospice is celebrating the purchase of a second patient transport vehicle, thanks to a grant from the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution
The £19,595 grant has paid for a second VW Caddy van which is specially adapted to transport patients in a wheelchair, as well as patients with limited mobility, to and from the Hospice.
This is the second VW Caddy the BMBI have donated to St Peter’s Hospice, and the first van has made thousands of journeys in the three years since it was bought.
St Peter’s Hospice Trust Fundraiser Sarah Pryer said: “We are delighted the BMBI have chosen to support us again, and we know the new van will make a huge difference to our patients.
“The first vehicle has been an amazing success, having driven 10,000 miles and transported 476 patients in the last 12 months alone. As the only adult hospice in our area, our services are invaluable to our patients and having these two vehicles means we can help even more people.”
Mr Alan Vaughan, Provincial Grand Master of the Bristol Province added: “The Free Masons of Bristol constantly fundraise to support local charities and it is a pleasure in this instance to assist St Peter’s Hospice and make a difference.”
The vans are driven by volunteers, and are used Monday to Friday every week of the year. Half of the journeys made are to St Peter’s Day Hospice, which patients attend once a week. For many of them, their symptoms mean they can rarely leave the house so spending time at Day Hospice is really important.
The vehicles are also used for patients who are being looked after at the In-Patient Unit. Lots of these journeys involve taking patients to out-patient appointments, including to Southmead Hospital, the BRI, and the Oncology Centre. Before the vans, St Peter’s Hospice relied on the ambulance service which operates in two-hour slots. This often meant a 15-minute scan could involve a five-hour total trip – now, the same journey could take as little as 1¼ hours, an enormous difference to patients who are very unwell.
The purchase of the new vehicle means St Peter’s Hospice can now use one van each for the Day Hospice and Inpatient Unit, meaning even more patients can take advantage of the service.
To find out more about supporting St Peter’s Hospice click here.