Welcome to the CHAIN Car Driving Service.
So much is common sense (invented before Health & Safety).
I always open the passenger door (it saves your passenger from banging the next car). This is whether they are inside it or outside, a gust of wind can catch it so easily in a crowded car park.
Quite a few of our clients have never been drivers themselves, or stopped driving a long time ago. Collecting them may be the first time they have been out of doors for quite a few days, so be prepared to give an arm, or a hand to steady them. Be observant for them of kerbs etc. and when crossing a road allow for a much slower pace.
I took a frail elderly gentleman to Great Western Hospital Swindon, and as we rounded a corner a tremendous gust of wind nearly bowled him over. It is usually a draughty / windy place, but the first time there can catch you unawares.
Within any hospital there are usually wheelchairs available. At The Great Western there is a small close parking spot, but don’t stop too long, move off to a normal visitor space and display your CHAIN permit, or take your ticket to the desk & park for free. Do not park in any PERMIT spots they are usually for staff.
A few years ago I took my dear old (94) dad to hospital, he didn’t get out much, and I found that he didn’t like the speed much above 50, so take bends and braking carefully, the motion can be upsetting.
You may want to put on a car seat cover.
Most patients / clients are usually ready when you call to collect them, you can always ring them 30 minutes in advance just to confirm that you will be there, and when. The office does advise the client when the call is booked, but like anybody else they can forget.
I bought a diary especially for CHAIN work as I know that even I can forget (and have forgot!), but you should record it in your diary one way or the other. I also record in my diary… the journey / mileage / donation ready for claiming / handing it back into the office at the end of the month, or email direct to the Treasurer (see CONTACTS). Click for DRIVERS CLAIM form or call in the office.
Ensure that you have a supply of CHAIN donation envelopes in your glove compartment, 45p a mile is a guideline, some give more some give less, always advise them that the mileage has been say 13miles @45p = £5.85 or whatever. Always carry some CHAIN CAR JOURNEYS regular trip costs sheet, and you should carry at least 6 envelopes with a few of these cost guidelines.
Before the start of the journey I usually write up the front of the envelope, and then on the back put the start mileage, and before setting off on the homeward journey work out the total mileage and it’s end cost / donation figure. If there are points of interest / useful observation about the client you have just picked up, please feed it back to the office who can then advise other drivers who might be taking that client at a later date. For instance: very unstable on their feet, very difficult to manoeuvre wheelchair, very heavy, or just anything that you feel might be helpful.
If you would like to have a trial run before committing yourself further to CHAIN, please contact the office and they will be delighted to arrange it for you.
However…don’t panic…every client that I have ever driven is VERY appreciative of the service that we offer and is VERY grateful for you giving up your time…so you should find it VERY rewarding.