"Delays using the non-emergency ambulance service"

About: Arriva Transport Solutions Limited

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them, as they do not have an email address. They said…

This gentleman attends Tameside Hospital regularly for a number of conditions, and uses the ambulance service. He says it has deteriorated since Arriva took over. He is waiting sometimes more than 2 hours to be picked up, both going, and more importantly, returning home. His last appointment was for 1. 30pm and he got home at 7. 10pm – he had only had an injection.

He wants to stress that he is not complaining about the staff on the ambulance, who are very helpful. It is the system which is at fault.

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Response from Communications Officer, Arriva Transport Solutions Limited

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback through Tameside Healthwatch. We are sorry to hear about this patient’s experience. It is very difficult to respond to this without investigating the circumstances. We collect 95% of patients within 90 minutes of them being booked ready by the hospital or clinic staff once they have completed their appointment or treatment. We would like to look into where the delays have occurred with this patient’s transport to help to improve the service he is receiving.

We do ask patients to be ready up to 2hrs before their appointment time and explain that by ready we mean that they are dressed and have their appointment letter, bag, coat and keys ready to go when our crew arrives. This is because patients may be traveling with other patients. We are working on an initiative to provide individual patients with a more accurate collection time to help reduce the anxiety of waiting for transport.

We encourage patients to call our control if they have a concern about their transport on 0800 023 2292. We also encourage patients to contact our patient experience team to provide feedback on our service you can do this by calling our control or by email to patientexperience@arriva.co.uk or by post to Arriva Transport Solutions, Freepost ANG 7624, Luton LU4 8BR. We understand that some patients worry that if they raise a concern that their transport will be affected, we would like to reassure patients that all feedback is important to us and will assist in developing the service to meet the needs of the patients we transport.