"Problems with patient transport service"

About: Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as other),

I'm copying under an email that is self explanatory.

I've tried to write and complain about, what I can only describe as the abysmal, service my husband and I have had to endure from whoever is responsible for (dis)organising the transport, which is required for my husband to attend his Bristol appointments. I am copying under the e-mail I sent to you following my husbands first (missed) and rearranged appointments, which is self-explanatory. Following the distressing and uncomfortable journey described in the copy if you recall I did telephone the hospital to complain and I was told that it was too late to do anything about the next appointment but following that a car would be sent for my husband‘s transport.

Instead of at car an ambulance arrived - at 9-30 am for a 12 NOON appointment. Being unprepared for this too early pick up we had to dash around and we actually kept the ambulance waiting for about 10 minutes.

We received a call to say that the transport had been arranged for my husband’s 12 noon appointment at Bristol and we were told that transport would arrive some time after 10 am. We waited and waited - please note that we were unable to do anything or go anywhere as from 10 am we expected the transport to arrive at any minute.

We are both in our 70’s. I had a brain haemorrhage some time ago and any form of stress leaves me with a terrible headache. My health is not good, and I do not consider myself fit enough to be my own carer let alone somebody else’s. As you may imagine whilst we waited and waited we both got terribly agitated and distressed. When the transport had not arrived by about 11.30 am my husband phoned the hospital and was told that the transport was on its way. It eventually arrived just before 12 noon and the two attendants said that they had been despatched from the Forest of Dean.

In the past, when the transport has been late my husband has arrived late for his appointment. On more than one occasion, the transport returns to collect my husband before his treatment is completed. His treatment is then cut short because he is told that one cannot keep the transport waiting - I would dearly like the same courtesy to be afforded to him.

I beg of you please to improve the transportation arrangements and sort out the difficulties that the person doing the planning of the service is so obviously having. Life is hard now and we do not need the added frustration of far too early or too late transportation.

The above is the gist of what I tried to send to patientopinion.org.uk but I find I am unable to get the message to transmit. Will you please be good enough to forward my complaint to the appropriate department - I really don't think we should be subjected to much more of this unsatisfactory treatment.


Thanks for yours - just picked up - listing my husband's forthcoming appointments. We’re not having a lot of luck with the Bristol run! On the first appointment the transport wasn’t booked and we sat around waiting on pins all morning . The second appointment treated us to a long and very uncomfortable scenic tour to Bristol via Tetbury - we left home at 10.30am and arrived at the clinic about 1.30pm. Then the appointment had to be cut short as the transport for home arrived. We travelled home via Tetbury and the driver took a roundabout route to Winchcombe.

We were almost home when we encountered a road closure and the driver got lost and had to be directed through Little Farmcote. By the time we arrived home my husband was in agony because his stump, which was hanging over the seat, had been bounced up and down and I was almost suicidal from the jogging and the noise from the rear doors banging and clanging on the bumpy narrow lanes. What a pity we had to rush off before the appointments were made.

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Response from Operations Manager for PTS, Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust

We are very sorry to hear that your experience with our service has not met with expectation and has indeed caused you distress. If you would like to contact us directly with your details we would be very happy to look into your concerns. Our Complaints Team can be contacted at our Headquarters in Chippenham, Wiltshire. The address is Jenner House, Langley Park Estate, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 1GG. Alternatively you can contact Patient Transport Services directly at Bristol Ambulance Station, Marybush Lane, Bristol, BS2 0AT. Please accept our apologies once again for any anxiety or upset that you may have experienced.