"Non-emergency medical transport"

About: Arriva Transport Solutions Limited

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them. They said…

This lady would like to make everyone aware of the difficulties that she experienced when trying to book ambulance transport through Arriva in order for her husband to attend a medical outpatient’s appointment.

She had to go through the recorded process twice before she managed to get through to someone who could help her make the booking. She kept being told that she had come through on the ‘wrong option’.

Her concerns are:

It took over 20 minutes to successfully make the booking.

The line was busy with her call and so prevented other people using the service.

Cost to her in phone calls with regard to the length of the call.

The difficulty she encountered listening to the recorded message, trying to choose the right option.

Why did dental treatment come up as an option before cancer or diabetic services?

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Responses

Response from Communications Officer, Arriva Transport Solutions Limited

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) commission the Greater Manchester booking centres. These NHS booking centres book transport on behalf of the patient for their first out-patient appointment. Some booking centres also book transport for follow-up appointments, albeit generally transport for follow-up appointments is booked through the acute hospital the patient is attending. The bookings centres also take other bookings and are not solely a patient transport booking service, although they do have dedicated members of staff to manage patient transport bookings.

We are aware that this has caused confusion for patients and we are addressing this through new patient information leaflets, additional information on our website and by working with both the CCGs and booking centres to identify ways in which we can make the process clearer for patients.

If patients would like to make contact regarding their experience with us they can do so by emailing arrivatransportsolutions@arriva.co.uk.