A new patient transport service for Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell

Each year, thousands of local patients use non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) services across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull, to get to and from their NHS healthcare services. We want to make these services better, so that people get the best service as possible.
Last year, the four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull, carried out a public consultation about NEPT services. All four CCGs are working together to explore ways in which to improve services, so they better meet the needs of patients.
The consultation looked at non-emergency patient transport for Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell people who access services at the following hospitals:
•Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust;
•Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust;
•Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust;
•Royal Orthopaedic NHS Foundation Trust;
•University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust; and
•Patients from Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell accessing services at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
The feedback that we received from local people was at the heart of our consultation and we value all of the responses that we received. Those who responded broadly agreed with the proposals set out for the new service. We have acted on the feedback and the original proposals have been updated to reflect the views of local people. 
For example:
•All patients will be collected within 30 minutes of their allotted pick up time for all planned journeys; previously it was for patients to be collected within 60 minutes; 
•Patients told us that reviewing renal patient’s eligibility every 3 months  was excessive; we have reviewed this standard and have amended this so that a review takes place for all regular users of NEPT every six months. 
•The CCGs will lead a review of the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS), which is designed to help patients on low incomes access health care services.
•The new NEPT provider will be expected to improve communication with patients providing travel status updates by text message. 
Les Williams, Director of Performance and Delivery at NHS Birmingham CrossCity CCG, said: “We are delighted with the number of people who took part in our consultation and we would like to thank them for their many comments and suggestions. Listening to patients and local people has helped us to ensure that we will have a non-emergency patient transport service that really meets the needs of our patients.
“The Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Birmingham and Solihull have endorsed our proposals and we will now move forward with this by buying a new service which is value for money, of a consistent quality standard, safe and can be accessed by those who need it in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell.”
A copy of the consultation report can be found here -
A second NEPT project will be undertaken in 2016 to review patient transport at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust; Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

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