Royal Surrey County Hospital has made a donation of £15,000 towards a dedicated community transport service that takes Godalming and Haslemere residents to and from their hospital appointments.
Every week, Hospital hoppa plays a vital role in getting patients to the hospital so they can receive planned treatment and attend scheduled check-ups.
The service is wheelchair accessible, convenient and reliable. It is also quicker and more direct than most forms of public transport.
Steve Forward, General Manager at hoppa says: “The Hospital Hoppa service has always operated at a loss, and hoppa effectively subsidises that loss on every journey.
“We choose to do this because we recognise how vital this service is to some of the most vulnerable, rurally isolated and poorly people in our community.
“I would like to thank Royal Surrey for the donation of £15,000, which is a much-appreciated contribution towards the service’s £50,000 annual running costs.”
“Every time a patient misses an appointment because they perhaps do not have access to affordable or suitable transport, it costs the NHS around £160.
“In recognition of the important role Hospital hoppa makes towards getting people to their appointments on time and therefore saving the hospital money, we are delighted to make this donation to the service for the third year running,” says Sue Sjuve, Royal Surrey Chair.
Hospital hoppa picks up passengers from their front door and drops them off at the main entrance. All journeys are pre-booked and the fare is £10 each way, which is half the cost of a nine-mile taxi journey from Godalming. Carers and companions are welcome to travel for £2.50 each way.
Sally Hitchen has been using Hospital hoppa for many years. Speaking about the service she says: “Hospital hoppa takes me to the MS Centre twice a week which keeps me active and out of hospital.
“The hoppa service is reliable and the drivers are always friendly and helpful. They come right inside to get me and are more than happy to help.”
Since the service was launched in 2005, Hospital hoppa has transported thousands of people to and from hospitals, doctors and clinics.
Anybody in Godalming, Haslemere and surrounding villages who has a transport need can register for free to use the service by calling 01428 681701 or by completing a simple form online at www.hoppa.org.uk/register.
Customers are advised to book as soon as they receive their appointment as the service is in demand and seats are allocated on a first come first served basis.