LISTEN: Barbra Bright explains how the service works
The car service who drives patients between their homes and appointments outside of Pitlochry are back in business now that the Coronavirus is beginning to ease as vaccinations become more widespread.
For patients needing a lift to and fro, they can get in touch with the team through their surgery and arrange a time to be collected by a driver.
Coordinator, Barbra Bright, explained: “The hospital car service was started many years ago by doctor’s wives who were trying to help their husbands’ patients get to hospital. “And it’s obviously developed over the years and we are now just as a three of us who are coordinators.
“And we worked through the surgery. Now, if anybody wishes or gets an appointment to go for a clinic, basically in PRI or in Ninewells and they haven’t got their own transport, they contact the doctors surgery. The doctors surgery know which one of us is on duty and they will pass our number on to whoever’s asking.
“And then in turn, they will phone us and we will phone our driver for them. And it just works its way down in the system. Or they will get to her to speak to a driver who will arrange your time to pick them up and take them. It, it works quite smoothly.”
As part of starting up the service again, they’ve had to take precautions against COVID to make sure that people are safe while they make their trips to either Perth Royal Infirmary or Ninewells Hospital.
Barbra Bright added: “I mean, things are far more relaxed now, obviously, and our drivers and will have had their two jobs, and as long as the current rules and regulations are adhered to, I mean, at the moment, we would suggest that the passenger sits in the back of the car and wears a mask. Well, they both wear masks.
“There’s really not much more that can be done if you’re driving a car, you know, just keep your distance.”
The point of the scheme is to offer an affordable trip for people needing to make it out of the tiwn for a medical reason.
There is a fee, however, which is there to cover some of the costs of the driver.
Barbra Bright said: “It’s an expenses for the driver. We don’t handle money as an organization, but there is a fee for taking and if you’re going to PRI it’s currently 15 pound return journey. And if you’re going to Ninewells, it’s 27 pounds and that money goes to the driver. It doesn’t come to a central fund or anything like that.”