"Real problems with Patient transport"

About: Crosshouse Hospital Scottish Ambulance Service

(as the patient),

The new service is a shambles, a few areas have improved, but still having real problems.

When phoning to book transport we are getting through quicker, but the amount of questions is ridiculous, I have been attending clinics for almost twenty years and getting patient transport there and back. We are being really grilled about our health issues, before being considered for help getting to hospital.

By the time I'm finished on the phone I am really stressed, some weeks I can have about three appointments. Yes I do agree that you have to sort out the people that do not need transport. I have witnessed a woman going home on the bus because she didn't want to wait for the ambulance to take her home but I don't think we have to go through this kind of questioning every time and for ever.

Also there seem to be far too many drivers coming from other areas who don't know the area. I had an experience very recently that a driver picked me up at home and I had to direct him all the way to Crosshouse. The return journey was a different driver and again had to direct them every step of the way home right from the hospital.

On another occasion I went to book transport to take me for an Endoscopy and was told my appointment at two o'clock was too late in the day to get transport so in the end my son in law had to take a days holiday to get me there.

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

Dear Cracker

I am sorry you are finding the direct booking system stressful. I hope we've explained to you, that you can book multiple appointments during the same call?

I'm a little perplexed that you had to give directions to and from your recent appointment at Crosshouse. Drivers have sat nav in each vehicle, which should mean they can get patients to their destination safely and in good time.

Would it help to contact us directly with your details, so we can look into how we can make future hospital appointments less stressful? If you would like to do this, please fill in a complaint form on our feedback pages at the web address below. That way we can look into your specific arrangements and follow up with you directly.


In the meantime, thank you for acknowledging improvements with the Patient Transport Service, and that its focus should be those people who need it. Again, I apologise for the issues you have experienced.

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Craig White

Thank you for taking the time to use Patient Opinion. I have been reviewing the comments made - yours has made me think about whether we review ratings of satisfaction from people who use the transport service. It seems vital that we do as that way we can measure and monitor satisfaction ratings.

Craig White

Assistant Director

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