Paul Marcelle, Ambulance Driver, Essex
I started working at St Joseph’s Hospice 6 years ago. I was originally here on a short term contract and when the position became available full time I applied for the job and 5 years later I’m still here.
What is your role?
I drive one of our two ambulances but there’s much more to it than that. I pick up patients from their homes and bring them in to our Day Hospice, which takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I take patients who are staying on St Anne’s ward, our short term respite ward, to hospital appointments and also pick up equipment. I also make sure that the ambulance stays roadworthy and if there are any problems I will take it to the garage.
The welfare of the patients is my primary concern, they’re not just passengers that get on a bus, they’re very special people that I need to get from A to B and back again as safely as possible and on time, that’s important.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I really like the patients and spending time with them. I’m someone who likes to talk to people and I like to think I have a happy ambulance. We have a laugh and a chat, and sometimes we even have a sing-along, it’s a nice relaxed atmosphere.
What’s the worst thing about your job?
Of course it can be sad, I become friendly with the patients and get used to seeing them each week. It can be really hard when they’re not here anymore, that can be pretty tough.
What does the hospice mean to you?
I’m really happy here. I think the people that come here feel safe and it gives them a kind of peace, a change from their everyday lives. For some patients it’s their only trip out each week, they are waiting at home for me to pick them up so I can’t be late, I wouldn’t want to let them down. They have more of a day here if they get here on time and that’s really important to me.