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Your journey

We understand that a visit to  hospital or other healthcare setting for treatment can be a difficult and often stressful time for patients and their families. Many patients rely on the non-emergency patient transport service to get to and from appointments .  We do everything we can to ensure that the service we provide is safe, caring, comfortable and efficient, from the patient booking their transport through to our dedicated crews dropping them off at home again after their appointment.

This section explains the process for patients so that they know what to expect from our service at each step of the journey. It is important to note that no two journeys are the same and the processes outlined in this section may change depending on the needs and requirements of individual patients.

1

Are you eligible for transport?

Step 1. Booking transport:

How do you book transport?
You will not always have to book your own transport – this is sometimes done by your hospital or clinic. If you do have to book your own transport then you will need to contact our call centre.

Your call will be answered by one of our expert call advisors who will guide you through the booking process and ensure that the transport we provide meets your individual needs. Our modern fleet includes a range of vehicles equipped to transport all patients, whether they simply need an arm for support, assistance with their wheelchair or require more complex clinical supervision. Our highly trained staff are able to offer the highest level of care for patients, including those with specific conditions such as dementia or those on oxygen. 

Are you eligible for transport?
The non-emergency transport service is for patients who, due to their medical condition, have no other means of getting to their healthcare appointment. It should never be used simply as an alternative to public transport or to avoid having to drive your own car.

In order to protect this vital service for those patients who need and rely on it, our call advisor will ask you a series of questions about your medical condition and how you perform your daily routines so that we can determine if you meet the eligibility criteria.

When you call to book transport please have the following information:

  • Date of birth
  • Your NHS number
  • Full address with postcode
  • Your mobility needs – do you use a wheelchair, for example?

Once your transport is booked you will be given a booking reference number. Please keep this number safe in case you need to make changes to the booking.

2

Picking you up

Step 2. Picking you up:
When you book your transport the call advisor will tell you what time you can expect our crew to arrive at your home to collect you. Please ensure you are ready when our crew arrives – any delays can mean we may be late picking up other patients.

Your care, comfort and dignity is our crews’ top priority so please don’t hesitate to ask questions or raise any concerns. We want to provide the highest level of care for you and our ambulance care assistants will be happy to help and support you in any way they can.

When the crew arrives at your home they will have appropriate identification. They will collect you from inside your home, help you to put your coat on and assist you in boarding the vehicle. The crew will make sure your home is safe and secure and that you have your keys to get back in when you return home.

If you are due to take medication please make sure you have it with you. You may also want to take a drink, snack, some change for the coffee machine and something to read.

3

The journey

Step 3. The journey:
Before setting off the crew will confirm your appointment details with you and ensure you are seated safely and comfortably on the vehicle. During the journey the crew will talk to you and make sure you are comfortable and at ease. Please tell your ambulance care assistant if there is anything you are unsure or worried about during the journey.

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4

Arrival at your appointment

Step 4. Arrival at your appointment:
When you arrive at the hospital or healthcare centre the ambulance care assistants will help you off the vehicle and into the building. The crew will then ensure you are taken to the correct clinic or department for your treatment. If you arrive before your unit or clinic has opened we will ensure you are not left to wait there on your own.

5

Getting home after your appointment

Step 5. Getting home after your appointment:
Once your treatment has finished a member of NHS staff will use the “book ready” service on your behalf to alert us that you are ready to go home. We will then allocate a vehicle to take you home as soon as possible. When the crew arrives to take you home they will pick you up from your clinic, unit or discharge lounge and take you to the vehicle. The crew will ensure you are comfortable and secure on the vehicle before setting off. When you arrive home the crew will help you off the vehicle and into your home. The crew will make sure you are safely back indoors and comfortable before they leave.

Friends or relatives who wish to travel with you

We understand that patients would like the support of family and friends with them on the journey but places taken up in this way means that other patients with a medical need cannot travel.

Only parents/carers of children under the age of 16 and carers of patients who have been assessed as vulnerable can accompany patients on their journey. There are also limited places available for those patients who require an escort due to medical need (this will be assessed as part of the eligibility process when booking).

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