"British Red Cross Arran Patient Transport Service"

About: NHS Ayrshire & Arran NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as a relative),

I have been informed that the Arran Patient Transport Service is to be withdrawn at the end of June due to lack of funding. The loss of this service will be hugely detrimental to the islanders who so wholly rely on this service to meet their transport needs. As the daughter, neighbour and friend of those who have used, and continue to rely on this service, I know firsthand how much of an impact this will have on both their physical health and mental wellbeing due to the increased stress they will encounter as a direct result of this service being withdrawn. Many of these patients are ineligible for support from the Scottish Ambulance Patient Transport Service and ARCAS support thus this was their only viable support service. Without this vital service, trying to arrange alternative support or even missing their appointments, which has happened and will continue to happen when no alternative can be arranged, can only exacerbate their worries at a time when these patients are already vulnerable and in need of additional support.

I am sharing this story in the hope that you can suggest a viable alternative to this service or take this matter forward in the hope of rectifying the situation and going some way to minimise the distress the withdrawal fo the service is likely to have.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear irene12,

Yes, I can't agree more with all you say. it has been raised with me recently and on exploration, it is true, straight from the Red Cross. (the horses mouth). It is sad that such a valuable service will no longer be available for those who do not qualify for ambulance or patient transport from other means.

While Arran may be considered to be a fairly affluent island, as far as I am aware this is not the whole picture, with many individuals facing transport difficulties to visit mainland hospitals.

I have highlighted the Red Cross situation to our liaison with the SAS, the patient Transport Service and I have even explored the issues with Arran cancer support. I wondered if this could have been a 'splinter group' of the organization in some way, but as it is a registered charity, they can't deviate from their constitution, which I understand completely.

As Arran has many active community groups, I wondered if one could coordinate/facilitate the use of volunteer drivers who could, for the cost of their fuel, plug this gap.

There may also be a variety of other solutions to this very important issue and they may come about because of this post, so thank you for bringing it to the fore. There are a few others of which I have explored. Should I be informed of any progress, I will keep you up-to-date. I am sorry there is currently no solution.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear irene12,

Further to the response above, I am reliably informed that a meeting will be arranged between the North Ayrshire Community Health Partnership and the Scottish Ambulance Service to discuss this very issue.

Again, I will update you on anything I discover,

best wishes,

Eunice
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