Every month, over 10,000 patients require assistance to get to and from our hospitals. As a trust, we 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.
To request patient transport, please phone 03300 416 767. For more information about requesting patient transport, and eligibility, visit NHS Choices.
Changes to patient transport services
We are changing the access to patient transport for some patients in line with guidance from the Department of Health. This guidance makes sure patients needing transport on medical grounds are prioritised for transport to and from our hospitals.
Initially, outpatients phoning to book hospital transport will be asked a series of questions by our trained call-handlers to establish eligibility. The eligibility questions were developed by clinicians to ensure that the most vulnerable patients are prioritised, and delays are minimised.
There will be an independent appeals mechanism for borderline cases.
On occasions patients will need their carer to travel with them. But if patients are able to travel safely in our ambulances with the support of our trained staff, then carers, friends or relatives will have to access other transport options.
If you repeatedly fail to cancel transport that you no longer require, you may not be eligible for these services in the future.
In May 2018, we met with a number of patients and clinicians to discuss these plans at events in Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets. There was a lot of support from everyone that attended to provide a safe and efficient service that best meets the needs of our most vulnerable patients. There were also a number of suggestions made to improve our service even further by:
- Providing more wheelchairs and assistance at drop off points
- Providing clearer information to patients about reclaiming alternative transport costs
- Providing clearer information to patients about getting to and from hospital
- Improving the customer experience for patients using our transport service
In response, we are arranging for more wheelchairs and assistance at drop off points. We also updated our website with the information you need to know about coming to and from our hospitals, including information to reclaim travel costs. Finally, we delivered a customer care training programme for drivers, call centre staff and ward clerks.
We would welcome other ideas as we plan for the long term future of our transport services to further reduce delays faced by patients and provide a service that is better for the environment.
If you have any questions about these changes please feel free to get in touch with us by emailing our transport team or phoning 03300 416 767.