Patients requiring transport to and from hospital appointments are receiving a better service thanks to a number of recent changes.
North East Ambulance Service, working closely with local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), introduced new eligibility criteria for the trust’s Patient Transport Service (PTS) in October last year.
The new criteria ensure that patients who are registered blind, who are attending hospital to undergo radiotherapy, chemotherapy or renal dialysis or to have treatment which will prevent them from making their own way home safely are automatically deemed as eligible for transport.
All other patients are taken through an eligibility assessment comprising a small number of questions asked at the time of booking to ensure that only patients who have a genuine medical need for transport receive it.
After going through further refinement, revised criteria were implemented in March and the trust is now seeing an average of 13.7 percent reduction in bookings.
At the same time, PTS Planning and Day Control have now been restructured to allow the team to work in a more functional and organised way.
In the new structure, there will be more opportunity to fill empty seats on our PTS ambulances and ensure our patients get to their appointments on time and home again after treatment quickly.
We can also better utilise transport between the desks and with Emergency care in preparation of more integrated care and transport.
Barry Dews, Head of PTS, said: “We have a lot of dedicated staff who provide this service and with the various improvements we have made, we’re confident this service will continue to improve to ensure we are giving the best possible care to the patients we serve.”