"Difficulty getting through to patient transport service"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service

(as the patient),

I required and received transport to Raigmore Hospital on the earlier this month at 9 o clock. I received first class service, for which I am very grateful. Today I tried to book transport for my next appointment, but when I get through I get the recorded message after every 4 rings, saying you're busy. I understand busy, but ,why I get the message after every 4 rings I do not understand.

After several attempts at different times, I have run out of opening hours and have been unable to get through. Unfortunately I will have to try again tomorrow as I have no other way of getting to my appointment.

It would be so much better if I could book on line and ease your telephone line congestion.

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Brem

Thanks for sharing your positive experience of the Patient Transport Service , and your difficulties in getting through to the new direct patient booking line. I apologise for the frustration we caused you.

We are in the process of rolling out a new direct patient booking line across the country and will be reviewing how this is working for patients in the coming weeks.

If you are using the booking line again, please keep me posted on how this was for you, so I can share this with the project team involved.

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear Brem

Sorry to hear of your frustrating experience. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and thanks also to Sharon for her reply. Sharon and I speak regularly and so between us we will look into this. I know a local meeting has been arranged. More generally moving to online booking has wider application and NHS Highland has been thinking about how we can better use technology to make things easier for patients.

If you want to discuss anything else with me about appointments please get in touch maimie.thompson@nhs.net or 01463 704722 and I will be able to put you in touch directly with senior colleagues in Raigmore.

Kind regards

Maimie Thompson

(Head of Public Relations and Engagement)

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