"The lack of coordination and communication in the Patient Transport Service."

About: New Victoria Hospital / Day surgery Scottish Ambulance Service

(as a relative),

I have phoned for 2 transport appointments for my 92 year old father who can barely shuffle, let alone walk. I have a disability and am unable to help my father on the stairs. We are totally dependent upon the so called Transport Service to enable my father to attend his hospital appointments.

For the first appointment I was told that the ambulance quota had been reached and that there would be no ambulance for my dad. Also told NOT to cancel hospital appointment as there may be a cancellation by another transport patient, in which case Ambulance Service would call me 24 hours before father's appointment to inform me of this. No one called.

For the second appointment, I started calling immediately when the post arrived. It took several attempts to get through and it was nearly 3pm before the line was not engaged. I was told again, quota full and no ambulance would be available. I struggle to understand how I could possibly have called any quicker. This was now two out of two for failure to provide transport and 2 lost appointments for my father who has cancer.

On Monday this week an ambulance with two staff turned up despite us being told that there would be no ambulance as quota filled! It takes nearly an hour to get my father ready so the ambulance could not wait.

Who to complain to? Does anyone care? My father has now missed 2 appointments due to this disorganisation, apparent shambles and waste of resources within the ambulance service. I must point out that telephone staff are less than helpful and telling us that we should not cancel hospital appointments in case there is a transport cancellation. This only further delays patients' rights to a new appointment and must surely be wasting the time of hospital staff when patients cannot attend due to the fault of the transport service.

Incidentally, 2 ambulances turned up a few weeks ago when my father had NO appointments at all.

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

I apologise for the poor quality of care wich we have provided to your father, and the resulting frustration we have caused you.

We do care. There is a page on the Scottish Ambualnce Service website http://www.scottishambulance.com/TheService/complaint.aspx which provides a range of options for making a complaint, including an online form.

As soon as we have this from you, with your contact details, we will follow up at divisional level to make sure your father's needs are met before his next appointment, and will be in touch with you directly to let you know what we have done improve our service to your father.

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