"Really frustrated with the transport service "

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

(as a relative),

I'm really frustrated with the transport service to and from the hospitals. My husband used to have morning appointments and we were generally picked up on time in the morning to get to the hospital in time for our appointment. However, we were always kept waiting for a long time after the appointment had finished that we were home very late, this was always particularly distressing for my husband.

We then changed the appointments to the afternoon hoping this would solve the problem, but we still fail to be picked up at a reasonable time after the appointment has ended. On this last visit we were picked up from our house at 10: 00 am for an appointment at 11: 55. We were seen early, before 11: 55 and were done by 12: 00. We checked when the ambulance would be able to collect us, we were told it would be 12: 45. We were actually not collected till 14: 55.

My husband cannot walk so we are completely dependent on the ambulance service to get us to and from the hospital but the journeys are very stressful, every hospital visit is fraught.

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Response from Laura Martin, Patient Engagement Administrator, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service

picture of Laura Martin

Dear Ash71

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I am sorry that your experience left you feeling so frustrated.

It is not clear from your comment whether your Husbands transport was booked through our service or not, however, I will try and provide you with some information here.

Our Patient Transport Service is a predominately pre-planned service; we work to a schedule that has been planned out the previous day. This is to ensure that we utilise our transport as efficiently as possible and that everyone gets a vehicle that is suitable for their care needs and their mobility at the required time. This transport is often shared with more than one patient so we can made the best use of our resources, so they will be times when the journey home isn't as straight forward as you might expect.

Most clinics are able to book their patient’s transport with a known appointment time and a return time based on how long they expect them to be at their appointment. Once this journey home time has been arranged, our contract states that we have a window of time within which to collect patients to take them home - this is 2 hours. However, there will be occasions when transport might be delayed slightly due to a number of reasons, for example earlier clinic over runs, traffic congestion or vehicle breakdowns.

I understand that waiting for transport home can be frustrating. However, please be assured that when you travel with our service, our staff will always do their very best to get you home as quickly and as safely as possible.

If you would like to discuss this matter further please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Patient Experience team on either swast.patientexperience@nhs.net or 01392 261 585.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to provide feedback.

Kind regards


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