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NHS Patient Transport All Set for Go-Live in Kent and Medway

User AvatarPosted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 25/06/2013 10:14:14

Patient Transport Services (PTS) will be delivered throughout Kent and Medway by NSL Care Services from 1st July.  People who need transport for medical reasons to get to their hospital or clinic appointments will have one number to call – no matter where they live in the county.

Visit the NSL Care Services website.

The service provided by NSL replaces a complex system where patient transport was delivered by several different organisations throughout Kent and Medway. It will mean that the existing eligibility criteria will be fairly and consistently applied allowing a better and higher quality service for all patients.  Patient transport is provided for those patients whose medical condition means they cannot get to their appointment in any other way. There are approximately 285,000 journeys a year in Kent and Medway.

Ian Ayres, Chief Officer for West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, which will manage the contract on behalf of all clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway, said: “All CCGs expect this new system to provide a high-quality, efficient and effective service which will be significantly better for patients.

“NSL has invested in 89 brand-new vehicles, which can cater for patients’ clinical needs while transporting them in comfort.  The booking centre will contact patients to confirm their transport, which can act as a reminder for some and will also enable transport to be cancelled if an appointment has changed.

“The previous PTS service was good in some areas, but less effective in others. This new system should work well for everyone eligible for PTS in Kent and Medway.”

Since the announcement earlier this year that the contract had been awarded, NSL has spent time engaging with key stakeholders: patient representatives, staff who are being transferred into NSL and current providers to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. 

NSL Care Services is part of the NSL Services Group, an Investor in People Gold accredited organisation, which provides a wide range of transport and transport-related services to the public sector nationwide.

The new patient transport service will be led by NSL Care Services Managing Director, Alastair Cooper. Alastair said: “We are really looking forward to providing PTS services in Kent and Medway. Our duty is to make sure all eligible patients are transferred to and from their medical appointments as quickly and comfortably as possible, ensuring they receive first-class standards of care. We have built up a great reputation with the national health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission and will be providing the same high standards to patients throughout Kent and Medway.”

Patients can find out if they are eligible for PTS by calling 0843 2 241 888. (Calls are charged at a local rate. Charges from mobile phones may vary.) The NSL Care Services contact centre is open from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday.