Last year Healthwatch in Sussex undertook and published findings from our patient survey on Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services. We are now publishing an update on the impact our reports have had and the activity which has happened since they were released

In August 2020, Healthwatch in Sussex carried out its fourth review of Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (PTS).

In our latest report (attached below) we take the opportunity to describe:

  • Some of the impact that your feedback and our subsequent reports had
  • The work we have been doing on PTS since then.
  • How your feedback and our reports have influenced a national review of PTS, which highlighted the importance of the service:
“The Non-emergency Patient Transport Review was launched in response to significant concerns highlighted by patient groups and charities, including Healthwatch, Kidney Care UK and Age UK, and by many in the patient transport sector themselves. The review has found that patient experience, service quality and service sustainability vary significantly across England. Many services are good, but there is often scope for significant improvement.”
Patient Transport

What Healthwatch in Sussex did on Patient Transport Services

In 2020, NHS Commissioners asked Healthwatch in Sussex to carry out a survey of patients’ experiences of using or applying for PTS services to inform recommissioning of the service in 2023.

We undertook this in September 2020 (our fourth review of PTS) and 130 people shared their experiences. You can read a summary report of our findings here, and the full report here. You can also view a two page infographic.

We also carried out a separate literature review of PTS on the operation of patient transport in Sussex as well as nationally. You can read our full literature review report here

Our survey of 130 patients identified high levels of satisfaction and that many aspects of the service were working well. The results also highlighted areas where improvements might be made.

This led to 14 Healthwatch in Sussex recommendations for improving Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services.

Our work was designed to inform and support Sussex NHS Commissioners as they prepared to recommission the service.

We wanted to ensure that the new PTS contract for Sussex (commencing from 2023):

  • Put patients at its heart
  • Included robust performance targets, and
  • That there was a smooth transition between future providers of the service (if a new provider was appointed).

What has happened since the Healthwatch in Sussex review in 2020?

Healthwatch raised your concerns and suggested improvements for the PTS service with Sussex NHS Commissioners and the current provider of the service (South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust – SCAS).

We also shared your ideas for changing the service with potential bidders for the new contract in October 2020, and our results were fed back to those leading a national review of PTS, which we discuss below.

Since our reports were published, we have been working more closely with Sussex NHS Commissioners and SCAS who have provided responses to some of our findings. This collaboration has created a better shared understanding of running a PTS service.

Looking forward, we will continue to work with SCAS and Sussex NHS Commissioners to deliver patient forums.

View the report

Click the link below to download the report

Healthwatch in Sussex: Patient Transport Services One Year On - October 2021 Download File (pdf 700.91 KB)

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