Free transport service from Chesterfield to Sheffield for cancer patients hailed as ‘fantastic’

Philip Abbott, 74, who spent a large part of his career working as a truck driver for Chesterfield Borough Council, became the first passenger on Weston Park Cancer Charity’s Chesterfield transport service earlier this year after it re-aunched following an enforced pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The service replaces the daily route operated by Nenna Kind following Weston Park’s takeover of the Chesterfield charity last year and has been praised for the vital access to treatment it provides.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Free transport service from Chesterfield to Sheffield for cancer patients hailed as ‘fantastic’Philip Abbott, who became the first passenger on Weston Park Cancer Charity’s Chesterfield transport service earlier this year.

It operates return trips from the University of Derby’s St Helena Campus in Chesterfield to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals – including Weston Park Cancer Centre and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, with further access to the Northern General Hospital provided when required. “My experience has been absolutely brilliant,” said Philip, who remains a part-time groundskeeper at Alma Leisure Park in Chesterfield despite his cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“The people are fantastic – what would we do without them. “They treat you like royalty. “I couldn’t fault it at all.

I was picked up there (from St Helena Campus) and the two lads in the van were fantastic – you could talk to them like you can talk to them your mother and father. “It was great – they dropped you off, they were waiting for me outside and we went straight back to Chesterfield. It was ace, you can’t get it better.”

Philip had also used the service previously during his treatment for prostate cancer following his diagnosis in 2018. He underwent 36 rounds of radiotherapy at Weston Park before returning earlier this year after it was discovered that his cancer had sadly spread to his shoulder. And Philip encouraged others who experience potential cancer symptoms to come forward for diagnosis and treatment.

Philip said: “You can imagine what you feel like, you’ve been diagnosed with cancer you think ‘oh God, anything can happen there’. “But no, they don’t act like that at all. “They talk to you about it and treat you like the professional people that they are.

“I wouldn’t have anything said about everyone involved – whether that is the hospital teams at Weston Park and Chesterfield, and the charity team operating the transport service.” Philip reassured anybody who is undergoing cancer treatment who may have hesitated in using the transport service during the Covid-19 pandemic for safety concerns. “I had no concerns with anything to do with Covid, none whatsoever – it was brilliant,” he said.

Emma Clarke, interim chief executive officer at Weston Park Cancer Charity, said: “We don’t ever want transport concerns to be the barrier to people getting the treatment and care they need. “We’re so pleased to hear of Philip’s positive experience while using the Weston Park Transport Service and we wish him well. We’re extremely proud to be continuing the legacy of previous service operator Nenna Kind, a charity which did so much to support people living with cancer in Chesterfield.”

For more information or for bookings, call Weston Park Cancer Charity’s helpline 0114 553 3330 (option two) or email [email protected]

Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber.

You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience.

Visit www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/subscriptions