Ambulance service volunteers celebrated for NHS 70th anniversary
Written by Scott McGerty on 9th June 2018
The NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations are casting a light over the vital contribution that North East ambulance service volunteers make across the service.
During Volunteer’s Week (1-7 June), North East Ambulance Service will thank those already supporting the Trust by volunteering and hopes to inspire future generations to play their part in shaping the next 70 years of innovation and care.
More than 80 of the Trust’s volunteers were thanked for their support at a celebratory event held today at Choppington Social Welfare Centre.
The Trust, which covers 3,200 square miles across the North East region, serves a population of 2.7 million people by handling all NHS 111 and 999 calls for the region, operating patient transport and ambulance response services, with support from 330 volunteers.
Whether as a volunteer porter, ambulance car service driver, community first responder or governor, NEAS volunteers invest thousands of hours in the service every year with some choosing to volunteer to help them in their career path and others want to give something back at the end of their career.
In total, 67 volunteers will be recognised for long service of between two and 20 years and 14 will be highlighted for going the extra mile for their patients.
There will be one volunteer receiving a certificate to recognise over 20 year dedication to supporting the Trust along with 4 volunteers recognised for 15 year service, 6 volunteers for 10 year service and 39 volunteers for five year service.
More than 50 people volunteer as porters with the service, meeting patient transport crews at hospitals to and from vehicles to their hospital appointments.
Last year they helped nearly 5000 patients at five of the region’s hospitals, saving crews over 530 hours so that they could be back on the road to their next patient, and completing over 6000 shifts equating to more than 36,000 hours. They also assisted 2265 members of the public to make sure they got to the right department for their appointments.