Every month, over 10,000 patients require assistance to get to and from our hospitals. As a trust, we now manage the safe and efficient transportation of our patients.
We're committed to continue improving our patient transport services. Since we took measures to improve the service for our patients, we have seen more than 90% of our renal patients being dropped off and picked up on time for their vital dialysis sessions. This is an improvement of more than 35% since January 2016.
As part of these improvements, we will also be introducing an assessment process so that our most vulnerable patients are prioritised for transport services, and alternative options are used where that is appropriate for the patients’ needs.
We're confident that our patients will receive a safe and sustainable transport service under our management. We're looking forward to building on our success with the renal transport service measures to make sure our patients can get to and from our hospitals safely and on time.
Our new phone number for requesting patient transport is 03300 416 767. For more information about requesting patient transport, and eligibility, visit NHS Choices.
Changes to patient transport services
We are introducing changes to transport services that take you to and from our hospitals.
We want to provide a safe and efficient service that best meets the needs of our most vulnerable patients. To help us do that, we need to prioritise transport services for patients that are unable to access other transport options because of a medical or clinical need.
Other hospitals in London have shown that prioritising patients that need it most can reduce delays by 15%. It also reduces the number of journeys our ambulance staff make, making our patient transport service better for the environment.
In June, we introduced the first of three changes and removed access to patient transport services for patients who regularly contribute to avoidable delays to the service. This includes patients that fail to cancel their transport request when they choose not to attend their hospital appointment. We appreciate that circumstances can change unexpectedly, so this will only apply where patients fail to provide us with more than 24 hours’ notice of cancellation on three separate occasions. So far, this has saved around 1,300 unnecessary journeys a month and improved services for the people who needed it.
Over the next few months, we will be introducing two further changes:
- Prioritising patient transport services for patients that need it most because of a medical or clinical need. To help us better understand your transport requirements, our booking team will ask you a set of questions when you contact us to request transport. They are based on a national framework that was developed by the Department of Health and have been adapted by our doctors and nurses in east London.
- Prioritising carers that need to provide additional support to their friend or relative because of a medical or clinical need. There will be times when patients need their carer to travel with them; however where patients can travel safely in our ambulances with the support of our trained staff, carers will need to access other transport options to attend hospital appointments with their friend or relative. We currently transport carers in one out of every five of our journeys, whereas other hospitals transport less than one carer in every ten journeys. By reducing the number of journeys where patients are accompanied by carers, we can increase the number of patients transported in one journey.
If you have any questions about these changes please feel free to get in touch with us by emailing our transport team.