National award for Pembrokeshire voluntary transport service

Employees collect transport award

A local voluntary transport service has been recognised at a national awards ceremony held in November. The Pembrokeshire Integrated Voluntary Organisations Team (PIVOT) was awarded Partnership of the Year at the UK-wide 2019 Community Transport Association Awards held in Manchester.

PIVOT provides a single point of access to a 7-days a week service (from 9.00am-8.00pm), delivering low level community based support, through a caseworker model, to prevent unnecessary admission to hospital and facilitate early discharge arrangements. The volunteers provide transport home from hospital where there is no other transport available, and Care and Repair provide rapid access to adaptations where these would help someone return home.

Debbie Johnson, Development Manager at Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations (PACTO) said: "We are delighted to receive this award, which recognises how special the PIVOT partnership is within not just Wales but the UK as a whole. The success of PIVOT can be seen through the teamwork of all the partners involved, particularly including the dedicated Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) volunteer drivers, and the incredible impact the service has on the many patients who are supported every month through PIVOT to return, and stay, safely at home.” 

The service, which was introduced in July 2014, is seeing increased activity year on year. It is led by Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS), a group of third sector organisations namely British Red Cross, Care & Repair, RVS and PACTO, and is funded through the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund which enables health and social care services to work together to support a range of people. PIVOT also incorporates the Home from Hospital service, which is funded separately by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Elaine Lorton, the health board’s County Director for Pembrokeshire added: “I am so proud to see the team recognised at a national level. PIVOT plays a vital role in our community, supporting people to return safely home after being in hospital. This award showcases our joint approach to enhancing the support we can offer our local community and ultimately improving the patient experience. In our very rural area, good transport services are key and the volunteers make a real difference for our patients.”

RVS are looking for new volunteer drivers to join the PIVOT rota, ideally living within easy travelling distance of Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest. Drivers will need to use their own car, with mileage expenses paid. For more information, contact RVS on 01646 699108 or email pembshub@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk.

Photo captions:

1. The PIVOT team outside Withybush Hospital.

2. Representatives of the PIVOT team collecting the award at the CT19 Awards in Manchester - from L to R: Rachael Murphy (CTA UK) Emma Lewis (PACTO), Emma Bingham (RVS), Simon Rickard (RVS), Michelle Harries (PACTO Trustee), representative of the award sponsor GM Coachwork, and Bill Freeman (CTA UK).