7.30 Arrive at work, check the answerphone for possible cancellations, and check the day’s itinerary. As a driver, my main role is to pick up patients from their homes in the morning, take them to Sobell House, and then drive them home in the afternoon. Most of the patients we pick up attend our Day Centre or are visiting Sobell House for an outpatient appointment. In-between driving patients, we deliver and pick up specialist equipment from patients’ homes, deliver and pick up charity collecting tins, and pick up the food and drink order. One of the best jobs will be coming up soon, which is going to pick up the Sobell House Christmas trees. Talking of Christmas – each year I am asked to dress up as Father Christmas… I’ve no idea why!
7.45 Leave Sobell and start driving to the first pick up which is the other side of Didcot. A traffic alert comes on the radio that there has been a bad crash at the Milton interchange. Come off the A34 and drive via Abingdon and Long Wittenham to Didcot.
8.50 Arrive at the first pick up. As the patient’s husband opens the door, their small dog comes racing out and starts running around the garden! I chase the dog and manage to get it back indoors. Help the patient into the vehicle without further incident (!)
9.20 Arrive in Didcot to pick up my second patient.
9.30 When I get to the door I’m told the patient had been taken to hospital two days before. I phone my manager to let him know that there has been a communication breakdown.
10.00 In Cowley to pick up my third patient. Get stuck behind a dustcart on the way, so I arrive slightly later than planned.
10.20 Arrive at Sobell House and take my patients into the Day Centre.
10.25 I was hoping to have a coffee, but have been asked to make an urgent trip to the Registry Office in the centre of Oxford to pick up some bereavement leaflets for the ward.
11.10 Arrive back at Sobell House and deliver the leaflets to the ward.
11.20 Have a coffee! I’m then asked to take a patient home from the Day Centre to Witney as they are feeling unwell.
11.55 Arrive in Witney and help the patient indoors. She assures me that she is expecting a visit from her GP.
13.00 Arrive back at Sobell House and have a quick sandwich and coffee.
13.10 Receive an urgent request from an Occupational Therapist to deliver a commode to a patient in Dorchester.
13.15 Drive to Dorchester and deliver the commode. The patient’s wife is very distressed and asks me to explain how it works, which I’m happy to do.
14.00 Arrive back at Sobell House and complete the morning’s paperwork.
14.40 Check the itinerary for the afternoon run to see if there are any changes from this morning. The only change is to deliver and pick up a collection can from a shop in Didcot, who have been fundraising for the charity.
15.00 Collect my patients from the Day Centre and drive them back home.
17.00 Having dropped my patients home and delivered the charity can without incident, I make my way back to Sobell House.
17.45 Arrive back at Sobell House, complete the afternoon’s paperwork, and park up the vehicle.
18.00 Have a cup of tea and check the itinerary for the following day.
18.30 Drive home. This was a fairly typical day – busy and unpredictable. Most days are busy, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I am immensely proud to be part of the “Sobell family” and make a small difference to patients’ lives. I am passionate and enthusiastic about the work that I do… however after over four years at Sobell House, I still don’t know why I keep getting asked to dress up as Father Christmas!