Masons hand over vital transport vehicle to St Peter's Hospice staff and patients

May 30 2017

St Peter’s Hospice is celebrating the purchase of a second patient transport vehicle, thanks to a grant from the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution.

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St Peter’s Hospice is celebrating the purchase of a second patient transport vehicle, thanks to a grant from the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution. 

The £19,595 grant has paid for a VW Caddy van, which is specially adapted to transport patients in a wheelchair, as well as patients with limited mobility, to and from the Hospice.

This is the second VW Caddy van that the BMBI have donated to St Peter’s, and in the three years since the first van was bought, it has made thousands of journeys.

Trust Fundraiser Sarah Pryer said: “We’re delighted that the BMBI have chosen to support us again, and we know the new van will make a huge difference to our patients. The first vehicle has been an amazing success, having driven 10,000 miles and transported 476 patients in the last 12 months alone. As the only adult Hospice in our area, our services are invaluable to our patients and having these two vehicles means we can help even more people. ”

Mr Alan Vaughan, The Provincial Grand Master of the Bristol Province added: “The Free Masons of Bristol constantly fund raise to support  local charities and it is a pleasure on this instance to assist St Peter’s Hospice and make a difference.”

The vans are driven by volunteers, and are used Monday to Friday, every week of the year. Half of the journeys made are to St Peter’s Day Hospice, which patients attend once a week. For many of them, their symptoms mean they can rarely leave the house so spending time at Day Hospice is a really welcome opportunity.

The vehicles are also used for patients who are being looked after on the Inpatient Unit. Lots of these journeys involve taking patients to out-patient appointments, including to Southmead Hospital, the BRI, and the Oncology Centre. Before the vans, St Peter’s relied on the ambulance service which operates in two hour slots. This often meant that a 15 minute scan could involve a four to five hour trip, with patients potentially waiting two hours either side of the appointment. Now, the same journey can take just over an hour and this makes an enormous difference to patients who are very unwell.

The purchase of the new vehicle means that St Peter’s can now have one van for both Day Hospice and in the Inpatient Unit, meaning even more patients can take advantage of the service.