Healthwatch in Sussex survey on Patient Transport Services

Healthwatch in Sussex survey on Patient Transport Services

Healthwatch in Sussex  wants to hear from people about their experiences of using Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services. Their ideas will help inform the commissioning of a future service.  This service is currently provided by South Central Ambulance Service.

Patient’s views will help shape the future of the service which is due to be re-commissioned in 2021.
The survey is open from 1st to 20th September and we are encouraging people to take part by offering a prize draw to win one of five £25 gift vouchers. People are also encouraged to share their individual stories with their local Healthwatch: East Sussex – enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk

Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (PTS) cover all of Sussex, with a population in excess of 1.6 million. Patients are transported via pre-booked journeys to and from health appointments seven days a week, including Bank Holidays. PTS is free at the point of use for all eligible patients and currently provides around 25,000 journeys per month.

In the past the service has failed some patients, the issues were so serious that they were raised in Parliament. This is why it is so important the commissioners understand what is working well and what needs to improve – and the only way they can fully understand this, is to hear from people who use the service.

Healthwatch in Sussex said today: “One of the most basic issues people face is travelling to and from health
appointments. These services are a lifeline and help those most in need. Evidence suggests that services do not always work well, making this a distressing experience for patients. A much-needed national review of PTS has been announced by NHS England and a key aspect of this is how to improve commissioning of services. Locally, from 2022 a new provider will be awarded a minimum five-year contract worth around £20 million to run this service for Sussex and Surrey eligible residents. This time around, the commissioning process and transition arrangements between the existing and the provider who is awarded the new contract must deliver real and immediate improvements. Healthwatch in Sussex welcome the CCG’s engagement with us on this important
work and we work closely with them to deliver a successful new contract.”