Improved Patient Transport Service Goes Live A modernised and patient-centered service is now available to patients requiring non-emergency transport in four counties across the North West, as part of a new contract provided by NWAS. As you may be aware, the Trust was successful in its bid to run the service in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria, following a competitive tender last year. We were unsuccessful in gaining the contract for Greater Manchester and our PTS staff have now transferred to the new provider of services, Arriva. We wish them every success with their new employer. The new contract for the four counties started on Monday 1 April 2013 and will last for three years. Numerous quality improvements have been incorporated as a result of feedback from stakeholders, including patient representatives engaged in the process, with an overall focus on the quality of service forall our patients. As part of the improvements, NWAS has extended its appointment times for all patients and will now also provide an enhanced service to its regular service users with specialist needs - those receiving treatment for cancer and haemodialysis. Additionally, a number of new projects have been developed to ensure a more responsive and accessible service, including a streamlined online booking service, consistent use of the eligibility criteria, the latest technology on vehicles, dedicated free-phone telephone numbers and an advance patient reminder and next patient collection service. The improvements are underpinned by a new Patient Charter which outlines the Trust's commitment to the care and safe transport of patients - providing the right care, at the right time and in the right place. The Charter describes the standards of service a patient should expect from NWAS and what patients can do to help us meet their needs most efficiently, as well as explaining how patients can access services and how they can feed back their experiences. A new website, which contains all the latest information and developments, can also be accessed by visiting: www.patienttransport.nwas.nhs.uk.