PTS Improvement Plan 2016/17

The Trust’s 2016/17 Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) project for the Patent Transport Service has three main goals:

  • To reduce the number of journey cancellations
  • Ensure better understanding of when patient escorts are required
  • To reduce long waiting times for patient return journeys

We have surveyed a number of patients from across all regions, specifically those who have had their transport cancelled, and those who have travelled with an escort in the past to gage their understanding of when escorts are needed.  We have also surveyed healthcare professionals who book transport for patients on their understanding of the cancellation process and use of escorts. 

A full analysis of the survey results will be undertaken and an action plan created to ensure that, if required, appropriate processes, accessible information and guidance are put into place to achieve a reduction by the end of the financial year (March 2017).

Reducing Long Waits: 

With the aim of reducing long waits for our patients, we are looking at introducing the following:


Patient identifiable, discreet stickers for all patients travelling on a PTS vehicle

When a patient is picked up, our staff will offer the patient a sticker and give an explanation as to the reason for the sticker.  If accepted, the patient will be asked to p

lace it on a suitable area on their clothing.  Assistance with this will be given if necessary.

One of the key benefits of this initiative is that the sticker will increase the visibility of patients who have travelled by PTS by both hospital and our own staff.   Should an ambulance patient be noticed to have been waiting for a considerable length of time, any PTS Care Assistants can approach the patient to ask about their transport.  Staff can then relay any issues back to our PTS Control for resolution. This is expected to provide a better experience.

Over the coming months, we will also be undertaking a review of hospital waiting areas to assess their environment, facilities and position within the hospital.  We will also be speaking to patients to establish if there could be any improvements.  We will be linking in with all local Healthwatch organisations to help with this assessment where possible.   

Pager devises for patients who are reported ready (selected hospitals only)


Another initiative we are introducing is patient pagers.  A pager device will be given to a patient when they are reported ready to travel home.  By having a pager, a patient can leave the waiting area for a short period of time to use the facilities in the hospital and lifts the restriction of waiting in one area to ensure they do not miss their transport home.  Once transport arrives to collect the patient to take them home the pager will be activated and they can return to the waiting area to meet the crew.

The pagers can be handheld or worn around the neck on a lanyard and can be used by patients with both hearing and sight problems – as they both flash and vibrate when they are activated. 

Awareness of Escorts

Guidance on the use of escorts, including frequently asked questions, is now available on our Patients section.