"Dreadful experience with the patient transport service"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Patient transport service (PTS)

(as a carer),

I am a carer for my husband and we have just had a dreadful experience with the patient transport service for South Mead Hospital. We had to wait 2 hours and 10 minutes after my husband finished his appointment. During this time the nurses at the hospital phoned repeatedly to see where the ambulance was.

There was a lady older than us also waiting to be taken home.

I don’t think this is one off. Not long a go I was a patient myself at St Michael's Hill and had to go into hospital 12 to 15 times in quick succession and I never had to wait longer than 10 minutes for the transport but this is the second time with have had problems getting home from South Mead.

It is a long time to wait to go home, especially when the service rings us up before they pick us up from home and tell us we have to be ready at least two hours before the pickup time. We are old and it is really hard to be up and ready for that time in a morning.

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Dear Rallied982

Thank you for taking the time to share your story.I am very sorry to hear about your experience while waiting for transport.

Our non-emergency ambulance service is predominantly a 'pre-planned' service, that is to say that we plan all the journeys 24 hours before they take place. This is to ensure that we utilise our transport as efficiently as possible and that everyone gets transport that is suitable for their care needs and their mobility.

Without specific information it is difficult to comment fully, however when considering the details you have given what is likely to have happened is that the crew who were due to come and collect you experienced an unexpected delay. Events like heavy traffic, being flagged down by a member of the public or another clinic experiencing delays would have 'knock on' effect for journies for the rest of the day.

I hope this explanation goes some way to giving you an understanding of what may have happened. However, if you would like us to look into the specific events surrounding your transport on this day please contact our Patient Experience team on 01392 261 585 and we will be very pleased to investigate this for you.

Thank you, again, for providing feedback.

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