"My mothers experience with patient transport"

About: Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

(as a carer),

My severely disabled Mother was due to attend an appointment at Moorfields at St George's Hospital a few months ago. She requires a two person crew due to some stairs at our property. She has required this for three years and has regularly attended medical appointments without any problem.

However, in February a crew from G4S attended (two hours exactly before the scheduled appointment despite being only a few miles away! ).

One person,  very familiar to us due to their unforgettable surely attitude with us previously, and when they were sitting at reception in the transport lounge at St George's), and a person who we had not met before.

The first person informed that they had no awareness of the stairs (untrue as they had attended previously and we have used the service regularly for two years without any review to our transport requirements). The other person was largely quiet and not unpleasant, but the first person became aggressive. I asked them to leave the property immediately, but they still wanted to stand there and argue! This was witnessed by my Mother's PA.

I immediately emailed  G4S Hospital Transport but have yet to received a response. After a very candid discussion with staff at Moorfields, the re-booked appointment was also postponed until May.

We will not expose my Mother, a disabled, elderly and unwell person, to such aggression from a supposed "helper" again. We demand action and assurances that this staff member understands that their behaviour is completely understandable. There is no place for that idleness, rudeness and lack of respect for the patients. A disgrace!

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Responses

Response from Patient Experience Manager, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Laura 153,

I was sorry to read about the experience your mother had to undergo at what sounds like a very unprofessional ambulance crew. Unfortunately, the transport for Moorfields patients attending our St George's satellite site is managed by St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Might I suggest that in the first instance you raise your concerns with the Complaints and Compliments team at St George's at complaints.compliments@stgeorges.nhs.uk who through their Estates and Facilities department will be able to address this with G4S and ensure that this individual's behaviour is addressed, and that he is not allocated to drive your mother in future.

Should you not get any satisfaction via this route, please contact the Moorfields Patient Advice and Liaison Service at pals@moorfields.nhs.uk or telephone 020 7566 2325/2324 who will be happy to see if they can take it further on your behalf.

Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

We are very sorry to read of your experience and dissatisfaction with the service you received and would encourage you to contact the PALS department at St. George’s Hospital if you have not already done so.

You can talk to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service about your experience and further investigation can take place, pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk or on 020 8725 2453

Your comments have been sent to the Manager of the transport service.

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Update posted by Laura153 (a carer)

This complaint wasn't for Moorfields to deal with. However, over the years that we have been attending the eye clinic at St George's, we have learned that the staff are also frustrated by the poor service provided by G4S transport services. This includes restrictions for transport users on Friday surgical procedures as transport is impossible to organise for a follow-up appointment on Saturdays.

We have been told on numerous occasions that transport users are offered appointments earlier in the day to ensure that transport actually brings the patient in to the hospital at some point during the day (though not necessarily in time for an appointment!).

It is a ridiculous situation that a hospital and the patients have to organise around the limitations of G4S transport services! Plus, as described in the account, we are expected to tolerate aggression and disability discrimination from a staff member intent on avoiding doing anything remotely linked to her job! It is a disgrace.