Local Healthwatch Response to Proposal for New Patient Transport Call Centre

The NHS Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced that it plans to commission a new call centre service together with other NHS groups.

It is hoped that this will make it easier for people to book non-emergency patient transport to get to and from hospital appointments.

Responding to NHS Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) plans, Jason Ferris, Healthwatch Swindon’s Communications Officer, said: “we are the independent champion for people who use health and social care, we exist to make sure that those running services, and the government, put people at the heart of care. We welcome the proposal that could make it easier for people to book non-emergency patient transport, this includes both patients and care professionals.

“This could make booking transport more convenient and accessible, particularly for those who are not eligible for the service, but still need support getting to their appointments and struggle to find alternatives. We know that the patient transport service is operated using an eligibility criteria (set by the Department for Health) to ensure the service is protected for those who, due to a medical need, have no other way of attending a healthcare appointment.

“When told that they are not eligible for non-emergency patient transport people have told Healthwatch Swindon that there is little or no information provided about alternative options that are available to them, which could help them get to their appointments. People have a right to be properly informed so that they can make the right decisions about where they go for advice and treatment.

“We support people to navigate the maze that is the health and care system, through our information and signposting service. We look forward to working with patients and partners to ensure that this new arrangement delivers an accessible, fair and quality service for people.”

If you have an experience of non-emergency transport, health or social care that, you would like to share, get in touch with Healthwatch Swindon by emailing info@healthwatchswindon.org.uk or call 01793 497777.

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