Patient Transport Service introduces new initiatives to improve service

The North West Ambulance Service Patient Transport Service (PTS) has been looking at ways to improve the service for the non-emergency patients it transports to and from hospitals.

The new initiatives recently introduced are patient identifiable stickers, patient pagers, improved information and guidance in relation to cancellations and advice for patients regarding taking an escort (relative or carer) along to their appointment.

The patient identifiable sticker is a small, discreet smiley-face, and is offered to patients when they board the ambulance. Its aim is to ensure patients are recognised as PTS patients by both NWAS and hospital staff to improve communication.

The patient pagers are handheld pager devices which are given to patients once their appointment has finished.   It then allows patients to leave the waiting area and visit the facilities of the hospital if they wish to do so, with the reassurance that the pager will be activated once their transport has arrived to take them home.

In addition to the above, a new, simplified patient information card and been produced and the website content for both patients and healthcare professionals has been improved and highlights the importance of cancelling booked transport when a hospital appointment is cancelled or changed. There is also more detailed information of when a relative or carer escort is required, along with a number questions and answers.

The Trust has also spent some time in hospitals asking patients what they thought of the PTS. Here is some of the feedback we received: “always good fantastic ambulance staff nothings a trouble” and “better than I thought it would be, staff on the ambulance are very friendly.”

Ian Stringer, Head of PTS, said: “The PTS welcomes these new initiatives as their aim is not only to improve our patients’ experience of using the PTS, but also helps us better manage our limited resources to ensure the service is ran as efficiently as possible.

“We would really like to hear from PTS patients on these initiatives to see how they are being received.   If anyone would like to provide feedback, they can email or call 0345 1126500”