Common transport challenges faced by patients
Travelling to and from medical appointments can be a stressful enough experience for patients, let alone when they are having to deal with challenges such as delays and unnecessarily long journeys.
After reading the ‘Improving non-emergency patient transport services’ report published by NHS England, we were startled to read about some of the common challenges being reported by patients.
Co-ordination, communication, and timeliness were some of the top areas where patients were reporting issues, which resulted in the review reporting these findings:
‘5% of inbound NEPTS patients arrive after their appointment time. We estimate this means over 275,000 delayed appointments or treatments each year’
‘In some instances, patients report very long group journeys at the end of a long day of treatment and waiting. Patients also report that vehicles are not always appropriate to their needs’
‘In some areas, patients report having to be ready for collection in ‘2- hour windows’ but not kept informed’
‘Age UK shared examples with the review of older people concerned to go to the toilet while waiting, for fear that they might miss their transport’
Of course we understand that increased pressures on the healthcare sector is putting a strain on a variety of services, with patient transport being one of these areas.
However, some of these findings are shocking and demonstrate that changes and improvements need to be made in order to provide patients with a positive experience.
Working alongside an experienced and trusted patient transport provider will help healthcare organisations to overcome these challenges.
Put simply, the sole purpose of patient transport is to provide a timely and comfortable service to patients who cannot travel via other means.
Therefore, if a provider is not getting a patient to their destination in time for their appointment or collecting them in a timely manner following their appointment, this purpose is not being fulfilled.
We also wanted to home in on the issues of collection ‘windows’ and the lack of communication, creating additional stresses for patients, who in some cases are too fearful to even go to the toilet in case they miss their transport.
This is not providing patients with a positive experience.
How can EMA help?
A patient transport provider should make the patient feel at ease throughout their entire journey, and this includes during drop-off and collection.
Maintaining quality communication with either the patient themselves or the healthcare facility they are visiting will help to give them the information and peace of mind they need.
We are able to work with organisations across the NHS trust and healthcare sector to provide a variety of patient transport services. We pride ourselves on our timely service, our friendly team, and the level of communication we provide.
If you would like to discuss the ways in which we can work alongside your organisation to support you and your patients, contact our team who will be happy to speak to you. You can give us a call on 0800 634 1478, email us or fill out a form to enquire about our services.