Mrs Gail McCaffery was one of the first passengers in Toowoomba Hospital’s new patient-transport buggy. The driver is Toowoomba Hospital volunteer Brett Torcetti.
Mrs Gail McCaffery was one of the first passengers in Toowoomba Hospital’s new patient-transport buggy. The driver is Toowoomba Hospital volunteer Brett Torcetti.

Buggy helps patients move around Toowoomba Hospital

A new patient transport service kicked off at Toowoomba Hospital this week.

The hospital's recently acquired multi-passenger buggy has been busy in its first days of service, ferrying patients to and from locations around the hospital campus. Dr Peter Gillies, General Manager of Toowoomba Hospital, said he was pleased to see the buggy making a difference to patients coming to the hospital.

"This is a large campus and for some patients, getting from the car park to where they need to be can be tiring, so we're very pleased to be able to provide this service," Dr Gillies said.

"The idea for the buggy was first discussed at our monthly Consumer Advisory Group meetings last year. "When a decision was made on which type of vehicle would be most suitable we discussed the details with the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, and I would like to offer sincere thanks to the Foundation for providing funding for the buggy, which is valued at more than $16,000."

One of the first passengers, Stanthorpe resident Mrs Gail McCaffery, said she was delighted with the service. "It's even still got that new-car smell," Mrs McCaffery said. "It's quite a long walk from here to the pharmacy, especially when you're using a walker, so it's great to have this service available." Mr Sam Savva, Manager for Volunteer and Interpreter Services, said the buggy had been in constant demand since it was put into service on Monday morning.

"Since the word go we were taking people to various locations such as the Renal Unit, Pharmacy and Oncology Outpatients and it didn't stop all day, and so far the feedback from patients has been very positive," he said. "The driver has a cordless phone so we know when patients are ready to be picked up and brought back to the front of the hospital."

Mr Savva said he was looking for a few more volunteers who might be interested in helping with the new service. "We have a number of volunteers already giving their time to drive the buggy," he said.

"The service will be available from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday so we would be interested in hearing from anyone who would like to be one of our volunteer drivers.

The buggy can only be driven within the bounds of the hospital campus, not on public roads, and all volunteer drivers are given training on safe operation of the buggy, so we would love to hear from anyone who may be able to spare some time to help."


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