"Service inadequacy"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as the patient),

Having terminal cancer, an appointment at Beatson in Glasgow was arranged foursome ten days after my appointment with a Consultant from there. In the vent it was brought forward by a week so had little time to plan.

Against family advice, I accepted Scottish Ambulance Service transport from Boness to Glasgow.This was a disaster. I Did not anticipate being first to be collected and last to be delivered over a period of 6 days, in effect for a minimum of 4 hrs for a 50min journey in a not particularly comfortable vehicle. stress was not decreased by time spent.

Waiting for other passengers to be seen by their consultant who did not appear to have any idea of transport arrangements.

Days resulting in me being on the SAS vehicle for a minimum of 4 hours for a fifty minute journey time with added delays while other patients were collected.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Chris Conroy, Head of Patient Transport Service, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Corbie,

I am extremely sorry to hear you were unhappy with the service you received from the Patient Transport Service and I am grateful to you for this matter to my attention.

We plan approximately 1.1 million journeys every year across Scotland and look to plan these journeys in the most patient centred way possible. As part of this planning process we will look to plan for patients to be on a vehicle for no longer than 90 minutes on a single journey, unless, due to the distance and/or the volume of patients on board that day, that is not feasible. Therefore I am very disappointed to hear that this has not been the case for you. I would view 4 hours for a single journey as being excessive, especially considering the distance you had to travel.

I feel that the Patient Transport Service should have played a key role as part of your ongoing care from the Beatson and I am again sorry this has not been the case for you.

To allow me to look into your concerns in more detail and provide you with a fuller response, I would appreciate if you could email me your contact details to cconroy@nhs.net.

Best Wishes,

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Response from Pat O'Meara, National Head of Ambulance Control Services, Ambulance Control Centres, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Corbie,

I am very sorry that you have had such a difficult experience, especially at what must be a hugely stressful time for you and your family.

Our patient transport service will normally pick up and drop off patients in a way that ensures that we optimise our ambulance capacity and this may extend times of journeys, but the times you are talking about appear extreme.

May I please ask you to contact me on 0141 810 6101 or pomeara@nhs.net so that I can look at the way that your ambulance arrangements are planned? I will do anything I can to make it easier for you.

Thank you,


  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful