"My problems with transport to hospital"

About: Crosshouse Hospital

(as the patient),

I wanted to share my frustrating experience about patient transport. I have been attending outpatient appointment at Crosshouse for my long term condition for over a year now and find the public transport from my area (Troon) completely inadequate.

I have never tried to access patient transport ( and wouldn't even bother on reading others experience), but I don't have a car and there is no direct bus to Crosshouse during the day.

My only option is to either pay £16 each way for a taxi (£32 in total so not feasible) or walk to Loans for the bus from Ayr hospital. This bus is not even hourly and there is a 2 hour gap between services in the early afternoon when most of my clinic appointments are. Sometimes I can find a friend who is not working or caring for children and ask for a lift, but I don't have family in the area and don't like to be a nuisance.

I can work from home when I have an appointment, but the round trip with the half hour walk on either side of the bus, plus waiting times takes up most of my day. I also had to make this journey, including the long walks when I was recovering from major surgery. Not everyone has cars and and I am sure that as an able-bodied working person I would not qualify for patient transport. It sounds like the system is overstretched as it is.

If the Board could liaise with bus companies to ensure a comprehensive service to all the areas the hospital serves then pressure on the patient transport service would be reduced. Likewise if clinic appointments with consultants and nurses could be held in the commuity or by telehealth, I wouldn't have to waste several working days per year trying to get to and from Crosshouse.

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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I am sorry that you have not received a reply before now. I am arranging for information on possible solutions to the problems that you experienced to be collated. I will publish this here when it is collated. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me personally if I can be of any further support or help.

Best wishes

Craig White

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

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Our Director of Integrated Care and Partner Services has confirmed that NHS Ayrshire and Arran is participating in a national Transforming Outpatient Services Programme, which aims to improve the people's experience of outpatients.

As part of this work we are exploring opportunities to increase the use of tele-consultation to reduce the need for people to attend busy district general hospital sites, where appropriate. This work is at an early stage but we are working closely with a group of members of the public, who are users of local outpatient services, to ensure that the views of patients and the public are fully considered. Your comments will be reported back to the next meeting of the Public Reference Group, to support the change process.

As you have mentioned, there are criteria used for the Patient Transport Service operated by the Scottish Ambulance Service. If you are faced by this scenario again I would encourage you to contact our Referral Management Centre to discuss how best we can tailor an appointment to your needs or signpost you to some of the third sector/voluntary agencies that offer support with transport.

I hope that this response is helpful and thank you again for using Patient Opinion.

Best wishes,

Craig White

Assistant Director, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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