Fleet partnership delivers for Mater and our patients

Summit Fleet Leasing has been helping keep Mater moving and aiding in the compassionate care of our most vulnerable patients for almost 25 years.

As the supplier of our fleet vehicles, Summit Fleet helps transport Mater to provide care in the community as well as service our extensive departmental requirements.

What began as a relationship focussed on the development and management of the Mater fleet, has grown to represent so much more.

Helping give back to our community, the fleet leasing and management company also generously provide and cover the cost of two sponsorship vehicles to transport some of our most vulnerable patients to and from their Mater appointments in South Brisbane.

Mater staff and volunteers recently joined the local Summit Fleet Management Team and Executives, who had journeyed interstate, for the handover of a new sponsorship vehicle.

Summit Fleet’s State Manager QLD/NT Sue McLean said it was a wonderful opportunity to witness first-hand the impact being made to Mater patients and staff.

“We were overwhelmed by the feedback from the volunteers and to the actual support it provided,” Ms McLean said.

“It wasn’t simply about having a car, but it was about providing a safe environment for families — many of whom would not have access to transport for critical appointments and treatments.

“For Summit Fleet, the capacity to provide support to an institution like Mater highlights the importance of the role we as a business can play in not only contributing to the community but working in collaboration with Mater.”

Mater Volunteers Senior Manager Judy Johnson said this year the Mater Volunteer Patient Transport Service celebrated 21 years of partnering with Summit to transport Mater’s most vulnerable patients.

“The volunteer drivers provide a door-to-door service assisting more than 3,000 patients each year who experience significant transport barriers to accessing their treatment and healthcare,” Ms Johnson said.

“These barriers can range from financial hardship, social isolation or the severity of a person’s illness that prevents travel by public transport.”

Ms Johnson said the number of patient trips dropped at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but the commitment and tenacity of Mater’s dedicated volunteers soon saw them back in the driver’s seat.

“It was a difficult time, as we were unable to transport more than one patient at a time due to social distancing measures for patient and driver safety,” she said.

“After an initial three-month suspension, the drivers were simply amazing and were back in the driver’s seat supporting our patients who needed transport assistance more than ever.”

The service continues today with nine volunteer drivers who average 180 patient trips each month and work Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

Ms Johnson said the generous support of Summit Fleet to provide sponsored vehicles enables Mater’s volunteer drivers to embody our values of honouring and promoting the dignity of human life and of all creation and to act with compassion and integrity.

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