Mount Druitt Hospital’s hard-working volunteers have taken the first journey behind the wheel of their new transport service bus after it was officially handed over on Tuesday (March 14, 2017).
The 14-seat Toyota Hitachi commuter bus, which was gifted on NSW Health’s Volunteer Appreciation Day, was one of several donations from Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation, which has been supporting western Sydney hospitals for more than seven years.
The volunteer transport bus service offers free transport for patients to doctors, hospitals (Mount Druitt, Blacktown and Westmead) and a variety of western Sydney clinics and health facilities.
Mount Druitt Hospital general manager Sue-Anne Redmond said the volunteers’ bus was definitely in need of an upgrade.
“The old bus, which was acquired through raffles and donations run by the volunteers nearly eight years ago, had run up 300,000km and was becoming increasingly unreliable,” she said.
“This is an extremely valuable service to the Mount Druitt community and we are so grateful for the contribution of the volunteers who give their time to make this service possible.”
“Many patients who use the bus have no other mode of transport to get to the clinics or facilities and often rely on walking frames. The volunteer transport service is able to park close to buildings to drop off and pick up patients, minimising walking distance, and the driver also assists patients to get on and off the bus.”
My Westmead Partnerships Manager Susie Saba said the foundation was thankful for Sargents’ continued support. “Thanks to Sargents’ generosity, the bus was recently funded, making a difference to the nearly 300 patients transported each month.
Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation representative Brian Andrews said the organisation was thrilled to be involved: “the Sargents Pies Charitable foundation is pleased to be able to provide a new bus to make the work done by the volunteers who give their time to assist patients in getting to their appointments on time at the hospitals without the worry of an unreliable vehicle.”
Sargents’ generosity goes beyond the bus – in 2016, Sargents generously helped fund Fabian ventilators, which were attached to the emergency transport shuttles that move critically unwell babies between hospitals for urgent surgery. Sargents had previously donated the shuttles and were thrilled to later provide the PIES (pre-term intensive emergency support).
Additionally, Sargents’ funding has also provided vital equipment for the new skills and simulation lab at Blacktown Hospital, where students completing their HSC learn basic nursing skills such as taking vital signs, pulse and blood pressure, bathing patients, performing simple dressings, basic life support and other routine tasks.
And last but not least, to build on the success of the previously funded exercise equipment for Westmead Hospital’s Redbank House, this year, the introduction of an exercise physiologist – generously funded by Sargents – will further develop the children’s ability to manage stress and anxiety both at home and at school.