Update on our patient transport service

December saw the launch of two of patient transport service (PTS) schemes in support of the Transforming Patient Care programme, with health prevention and best use of ambulance resources are at their heart.

First the results of joint working between our Urgent Care Service and PTS has created a process where certain journeys booked with our urgent and emergency services can, when medically appropriate, be passed for transportation by PTS.  Starting in Cumbria and Lancashire, this scheme not only provides timely and appropriate transport for the patient, but it also frees up urgent and emergency crews for other calls.  Journeys that are booked by health care professionals for admission and transfer are triaged by a clinician in our Clinical Hub and when identified as appropriate for PTS, are passed using a shared protocol to ensure an integrated response meets the patient’s needs.

The second launch of the month saw a pilot begin in Cumbria, where crews transporting patients for admission, outpatient appointments or discharge from hospital can access clinical support to raise health concerns on behalf of a patient. 

PTS carries out 1.5m journeys a year and some patients may be at risk of falls or fire and can be isolated, lonely or affected by mental health issues or dementia.   This scheme will help patients access ongoing support or services, with the Clinical Hub able to access integrated health care, organisations such as Age UK and in this scheme, can seek a safe and well home safety visit from the fire and rescue service, should that be required.    Learning from this pilot will support a roll out of the scheme across the North West.