Question: Have you had problems booking transport for medical/health care appointments?

Your feedback: Yes  66% (25 respondents) No 34% (13 respondents)

Your comments: 

Yes

“Patient transport is a nightmare. Especially with their changes to the PNA you have to go through each time. The first question is designed to prevent many patients from accessing it. Widespread bullying, intimidation and dishonesty, particularly at the Glasgow West headquarters. As a long term transport patient I ended up having to involve my MSP to retain my transport and they admit the pressure they are under. It is shocking. Even when clear medical evidence is provided you still have to fight their procedures. Really poor”

“Often, transport is time and capacity limited. I’ve had 4 incidents where notification of appointment meant I’d missed the termination point for transport and had to reschedule.”

“They took the booking made on receipt of the appointment then phoned the day before the appointment to say they couldn’t manage to do it. I know of at least one other person that this happened to as well.”

“I was refused ambulance transport due to their capacity on the day and no one could help me or direct me to an alternative transport provider. As such I had to cancel my appointment that I had waited months for and I am now back on the waiting list for a new appointment. Accessible Buses don’t run from my address to anywhere near hospitals and I have no one that could help me get to the bus or during the journey. This needs to be sorted as people needing to get to hospital can’t because no accessible transport is available and the ambulance service are blaming the health board who in turn blame them but long and short of it being i can’t get transport to my medical appointment”

“But there is no help available to those who live in remote rural areas and have long jourmeys to hospital that require overnight stays. Patients are expected to either pay themselves forlong journeys by taxi or to stay overnight in a hotel that has disability access. No help is available for this. To make matters worse some specialists no longer visit small local hospitals so patients have to travel hundreds of miles to a hospital in Glasgow. Patients often fail to keep appointments because they cannot afford the cost of getting there.”

“Community transport in Orkney can not be used for medical appointments, as the NHS provides no funding to Dial a bus. this is an issue for patients”

“I regularly receive IV treatment as an out-patient at hospital and during my last course of treatment I was only able to get patient transport for 2 out of the 7 days even though I’m entitled to patient transport. As I don’t have a car it meant I had to travel in taxis for 5 of the days which was very expensive. I’m not well enough to travel on public transport and even if I was the treatment is gruelling. It was suggested that I contact volunteer drivers but I would rather this service was used for patients having cancer treatment.

“I would probably cancel if I can’t get patient transport, it is very difficult as an older person”

“My husband qualifies for Patient Transport but I cannot go with him! This means either me and my guide dog walking the 2 miles to the hospital, or taking a bus or taxi. I have to leave my husband to get himself out to the transport in order to get there on time and then get myself to the appropriate ward or clinic, often involving long corridors, coloured lines – I have no sight – help on lifts, asking strangers, wild goose chases etc. My needs as his carer are completely overlooked!”

“I fell and couldn’t transport myself to A&E. Despite them knowing I’m a wheelchair user, they sent an inaccessible vehicle and suggested putting me on a stretcher and leaving my chair at home. As it was not an emergency I chose to wait until a suitable vehicle could be sent. But it took a number of phone calls and I was made to feel like an inconvenience.”

“I felt as if every time I phoned I was grilled for information. I have used it several times but only if there is no other way to make appointment. Surely they must keep a record of who used it and why so we don’t feel interrogated if we phone up”

“I have heard of people having terrible problems in our area (Ayrshire & Arran) However, one of the big problems is the abuse of the service by some patients, which makes if far harder for others to get use of it.”

“I have first hand account of a patient from the Isle of Skye being left at Inverness because the transport left during her clinic. Disgraceful”

“I did qualify for ambulance transport but was informed that although I was eligible for medical transport their “quota” had been reached for that day and as such they could not accept my booking. I was not offered an alternative transport provider and left to try and work out how to get to hospital. This has also happened to me before and I had to cancel my appointment that I had waited weeks/months for as I couldn’t get anyone to take me there.”

“I was told that you couldn’t use the MyBus for hospital appointments”

“Have had only once an appointment wasted as ambulance service cancelled at last minute due to sickness, this resulted in a loss to the NHS all round”

“It seems to be that the decision to give transport depends on who answers the phone! I have M S and cannot use public transport. I have been refused twice , by the same person, but when I called third time a different person agreed to send transport ! No one seems to be willing , or able, to explain what the new criteria actually is!”

No

“l have found if you book in advance and not last minute it is good.”

“Difficult one, when I needed an ambulance I got one, when I wasn’t fit to travel. By ambulance a red cross car was available. This decision has to be the best care for those who need it. The ambulance service is stretched more money needed.”
“I’ve never had to book patient transport, but I have in the past been a volunteer driver for the WRVS ( at the time ), and this did throw up the difficulty of finding a parking space at every hospital I went to, which allowed the person I was driving to access the location of the out patient clinic where they had an appointment. Those patients had to book a volunteer driver in advance through the scheme administrator, and reimburse the driver at a fixed mileage rate, which worked out cheaper/similar to public transport. Some of them were entitled to be reimbursed by the NHS for all or some of the amount they paid the volunteer. Receipts were always given for any money the volunteer received. It was a very good scheme, enabling ” door to door” transport – unfortunately I don’t know if it is still available.”