Service status: temporarily suspended; no bookings available
(updated June 18 2020, 12:00pm AEST)
Early on in the COVID-19 health pandemic we made the decision to temporarily suspend our national volunteer-driver patient transport service. The health and well-being of people living with blood cancer, volunteers and our team members was, and still is, a priority.
For now, this service remains suspended, but the following FAQ should help answer your questions about the service and how we’re assisting people with blood cancer.
COVID-19 restrictions are being eased around Australia, so why is the service still suspended?
The COVID-19 virus is extremely infectious and a serious illness, and, is a risk particularly for those who are older or with chronic underlying health issues.
The groups of people who use and provide the transport service tend to be those at higher risk of serious illness if they are infected:
- people 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
- people 70 years and older
- people with compromised immune systems
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
There are also the ongoing considerations of suitable social distancing and managing face-to-face contact in an enclosed space such as a vehicle for extended periods of time.
The Leukaemia Foundation is taking a cautious approach in relation to COVID-19 risks, not just in relation to this service but with all aspects of our supportive care and return-to-work for our team members.
Is there a date for when the service is likely to start again?
No. However, we are continuing to consider which of our programs and volunteer led activities will recommence and how we will do that safely. We’re also looking at how we can find even better ways for people with blood cancer to get to their appointments and treatment on time, in a way that’s suits them best.
What should someone do if they require assistance with transport to attend a medical appointment?
The first thing they should do is contact their treating team to discuss options relating to the scheduling of their treatment and access to state-based non-urgent ambulance transport.
The treating team will be best placed to discuss all options around transport local to you.
What sort of assistance can the Leukaemia Foundation currently provide for people requiring transport?
In many regions we’re able to provide referrals to alternative community transport providers. We will soon have a comprehensive transport guide available to provide additional advice on local providers and transport subsidies.
If someone needs additional assistance finding transport, they can contact us on 1800 555 021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the Leukaemia Foundation currently providing any direct financial support for people with blood cancer to access transport services?
No. However, we are providing advice and guidance for people to access local transport options (where available).
The Leukaemia Foundation also offers financial hardship assistance to help manage some of the additional burdens associated with blood cancer treatment – contact one of our Blood Cancer Support Coordinators on 1800 620 420 for more information.
The status of this service will change and we’ll be updating this page when it does.
More information about our transport service
If you’ve been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you may have to regularly travel for medical appointments, monitoring, or to receive medical treatment. For some people, the cost of parking, petrol and transport can cause stress or financial burden. For others, you may not always be able to call on a friend or carer to help. The side effects of treatment may mean that you can no longer drive, or your treatment has left your immune system severely weakened, making catching public transport potentially dangerous due to possible infections.
We offer subsidised or free (where available) transport to transport disadvantaged patients and their carers to reach their treatment facilities and appointments.
This is largely achieved through the generous sponsorship of Bridgestone Tyre Centres and Holden, our team of volunteer drivers and the generosity of the community who donate to the Leukaemia Foundation. In 2017-2018, we provided approximately 32,490 transport services to 1,961 families across Australia.
About Leukaemia Foundation transport services
Our transport program services major treatment centres in metropolitan and regional areas and provides a team of dedicated trained volunteers to drive you to and from your medical outpatient and specialist appointments. The program runs between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Depending on your location and demand, you may be in a Leukaemia Foundation car by yourself, or you may be sharing a ride in one of our mini buses. Because we understand how important it is to feel safe and comfortable, our volunteer drivers have passed workplace checks and participated in driver training programs.
While our drivers provide a friendly face, we understand you may also want to travel with a friend, family member or carer and we welcome them as well. If you will be travelling with children, please discuss this with us when you make the booking. Children under 18 must travel accompanied by an adult responsible for their care. Unfortunately, we can’t take children still in capsules, car seats or boosters.
There may be times when we aren’t able to meet demand and need to provide an alternate service such as using a community transport provider or a ride share arrangement.
Transport service locations
Information on where our transport program operates in each state:
ACT – Canberra and surrounds.
NSW – Northern Rivers area of NSW, the Hunter Valley, the Central Coast, the central and northern metropolitan, western and south-western areas of Sydney, and the Illawarra region.
QLD – A timetabled shuttle bus service links our accommodation villages with major hospitals and treatment centres.
SA – Adelaide and surrounds.
TAS – Launceston, servicing the North of Tasmania.
VIC – Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton.
WA – Perth and surrounds, Mandurah and the South West region.
Use this interactive map to find the nearest transport services to you. Please note that our transport service is currently not taking bookings. We’ll be regularly updating this page with service updates.
Transport eligibility criteria
Transport is available for all patients with blood cancer who are mobile and need to get to and from treatment, however priority will be given to people who:
- are transport disadvantaged
- are continuing frequent treatments after a bone marrow transplant
- have low blood counts and at a higher risk of infection
- are undergoing active treatment or attending review appointments for your blood cancer
- are undergoing supportive therapies (such as blood transfusions)
- require admission or day investigations.
Our staff will discuss the criteria and your physical suitability for the service prior to each transport booking.
How to access our transport services
Via referral and assessment from Blood Cancer Support Coordinators, treating facilities, social workers and welfare officers. You can also contact us directly on 1800 555 021 or via email us at email@example.com.
Bookings must be made at least three (3) working days before your appointment and if you are unable to attend an appointment, we ask you to let us know as soon as possible so we can offer the service to someone else.
No or minimal cost.
Each state has a financial assistance scheme that provides subsidies towards the cost of transport and accommodation for people who have to travel long distances or interstate to receive medical treatment.
Last updated on March 20th, 2020
Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.