Summary of report content
Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services in Sussex are provided by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) since April 2017. The performance of the previous provider (from April 2016 – April 2017) was of great concern to patients, members of the public and organisations across the health and care system.
Healthwatch in Brighton and Hove, East and West Sussex visited health services in Bexhill, Brighton and Hove, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings, Haywards Heath, Polegate and Worthing over three weeks in May to June 2017. They spoke to 218 patients, carers and some staff about their experiences of using PTS.
Overall 75% of patients spoken with were satisfied with the quality of service they received, including 44% who were very satisfied.
82% of patients said they arrived on time for their appointments, with 18% arriving late. Over 60% of these late arrivals were at least 15 minutes late and 13% were more than an hour late.
42% of patients found the process of booking PTS easy to do and found it a positive experience. The most common problems encountered were with the automated telephone process, access via key option menus, cost of calls and long waiting times.
Everybody commented the vehicles that picked them up were clean and tidy and in 95% of cases vehicles were suitable for their individual needs. In a small number of cases vehicles were unsuitable for taking wheelchairs.
There are several areas that local Healthwatch would recommend the provider and the commissioner to seek to address, as a priority, to ensure patients continue to receive a consistent quality service, for example; improving experiences for patients (and staff) accessing the contact centre; improving the service for patients over the weekend period and providing patients with additional support with their mobility where needed.