"Yet another Patient Transport problem"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as the patient),

As a wheelchair user, I depend on Patient Transport to get me to/from my many hospital appointments.

Recently, I was booked for a physiotherapy appointment at 1: 30 at Crosshouse Hospital, and had phoned the ambulance booking line well in advance to arrange this. By 1: 30 there was no sign of my transport, and I phoned the physio department to let them know I would be late, only to be told that my appointment was now cancelled due to being late.

My appointment had to be rescheduled for next again week, and now I have to phone the ever-busy booking line to reschedule my transport again. This has been a common occurrence since patient transport has changed from the hospital department making the ambulance booking to the patient having to do it.

Before, the relevant department made the booking, and were aware that I would be coming in by ambulance, and would probably be late/early (if that ever happened). Now, it's a shambles, and not only for arriving at any point close to my appointment time. On several occasions I have been abandoned at the hospital, after my appointment, and had to make my own way home, 5. 5 miles, often in atrocious weather.

This change to the ambulance service has definitely NOT been for the benefit of the patient, and screwups have become the norm, not the exception. This is not just my viewpoint. where before everyone knew what was happening.

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Response from Pat O'Meara, National Head of Ambulance Control Services, Ambulance Control Centres, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Compwitch,

I'm very sorry that you had to cancel your appointment as the ambulance did not show up. It must have been very annoying to have to wait and also distressing to be told your appointment was then cancelled.

This is not the service we strive to give to patients and I am also sorry that you think that this is the norm for patients. We really do try to get it right every single time.

I want to make sure that you understand why your ambulance did not show up and I also want to make sure that your next and subsequent appointments go well. Please could you call me on 0141 810 6101 so that I am able to look in to this for you.



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