Sussex wide Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) provided by: South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation TrustDownload (PDF 816KB)
Summary of report content
This is a second report that local Healthwatch in Sussex published in 2017 about patient and carer experiences of using Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (PTS). This report examines how the service changed over a six month period (June to December 2017) and since the new provider, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), took over the running of the service.
- A total of 186 individuals completed our survey, either online or face-to-face
- Overall users felt that the service was ‘better organised and more efficient overall’, with regular drivers having a significant positive impact on people’s experiences.
- Overall 85% of all those surveyed were either ‘Very Satisfied’ or ‘Satisfied’ with the Patient Transport service, with 80% saying that they would recommend the service to family and friends. These numbers are higher than those recorded from the previous research in May/June 2017.
- Renal patients were less likely than other patients to be ‘very satisfied’ with the service and were also less likely to recommend the service to others.
- 52% of respondents stated that overall, they felt the service had got better in the period from May/June to November/December 2017 and a further 42% said that it felt about the same.
- Some negative issues with timing and coordination were highlighted and, as with the previous report, weekends featured as the time when patients were most likely to have an inferior service experience.
- Hospital staff who took part in the research said the service was about the same as the last time Healthwatch reviewed PTS in May and June 2017.
- Poor pick-up times continue to affect some patients.
- Some renal patients continue to experience delays and uncertainties around pick-up times, despite being regular users of the service.
- Hospital staff report that they still face long delays in getting through to the control centre, distracting them from their important work caring for patients.
- Additional training is suggested for dispatch staff, to help them understand the local geography, leading to better scheduling of transport, and
- Some wheelchair users had concerns about the accessibility for wheelchairs of the some of the vehicles used.
In order to ensure the best possible service is delivered, Commissioners and/or SCAS could consider:
creating a dedicated team to support renal patients who are regular users of PTS.
- Improving experiences for patients (and staff) accessing the contact centre by streamlining the list of numbers which can be called, and reducing wait times. A dedicated phone line for staff should be considered.
- Identifying actions to improve the timeliness and reliability of the service for patients at weekends.
- Increasing the use of patient forums and meaningful engagement so that service users can participate in service review and improvements.