Imagine feeling ill . . .
- in pain, feeling sick, apprehensive
- facing radiotherapy treatment for cancer which might not be pleasant and certainly is unfamiliar
- facing the prospect of 15 or even 30 daily journeys from home to Addenbrookes Hospital on the outskirts of Cambridge (almost impossible by public transport, very demanding of family and friends).
Now imagine . . .
- receiving a phone call from a friendly voice, announcing his/her name and promising to collect you from home next morning
- In the morning, a ring at the door and the same person escorting you to a comfortable car where you may meet one or two others on the same journey
- being delivered direct to the Radiotherapy Department for treatment
- being met again afterwards
- comparing notes on the way home
- back home for lunch and putting your feet up
- all at no charge!
This scenario has been repeated day in, day out for over twelve years through the Primrose Car Service at no cost to our patients.
The Primrose Car Service
Since January 2006, patients from the Primrose Oncology Unit going to Addenbrookes for Radiotherapy treatment have been able to travel in comfort and without chargedue to a pioneering car service set up and run by the Bedford Hospitals Charity. Previously the patients were dependent on Patient Transport Service vehicles which collected a number of patients requiring different treatments at Addenbrookes from around the county before making their way to Cambridge. The whole trip often lasted all day. Thanks to the dedicated Primrose Car Service, which is believed to be unique in the NHS, patients are conveyed by comfortable Vauxhall Zafira cars from home to Addenbrookes and returned home as soon as the treatment – which only takes a few minutes – is completed.
The five cars are purchased by the Charity and driven by unpaid volunteers who are coordinated by a part-time coordinator paid for by the Charity, and the patient management is provided by the East of England Ambulance NHS Trust. Each year approximately 2000 patient journeys are made.
We need three new cars.
We need to replace the cars every two to three years at a cost of upwards of £60,000 to purchase similar vehicles