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Itís not looking healthy for patient transport

Date published: 02 July 2014

OLDHAM’S sick and vulnerable are at the mercy of a failing patient transport service says a local health watchdog.

The news follows a survey by Healthwatch Oldham after a range of complaints about Arriva Transport Solutions, whch took over non-urgent medical journeys in the region last year.

The poll’s survey of 573 patients across the region painted a picture of poor timekeeping and missed appointments.

In Oldham 41 people who rely on the service completed the Healthwatch questionnaire. Around half said their patient transport didn’t arrive on time and led to them being up to two hours late for a hospital appointment.

Half the respondents said they also had to wait much longer to be taken home: one reported being nearly two hours late for an appointment at 1pm and getting home at 7.45pm.

Care home staff reported being passed from person to person when phoning to book an appointment:

“I have found Arriva unhelpful, time-consuming, difficult and nine times out of 10 they are late,” she said. “If we didn’t have to use Arriva for patients then we most certainly wouldn’t.”

Around 80 per cent of patients said they wouldn’t recommend the service and three-quarters said they rated Arriva’s customer service as poor.

Dennis Hajdukiewicz of Arriva Transport Solutions said the firm valued the independent insight, but pointed out that the survey sample was a tiny percentage of total journeys undertaken.


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