This is a guest blog post from Transport For All, who write about their Sick of Waiting campaign. 

Patient transport isn’t working for patients.

Patients missing their hospital appointments… because of patient transport.

Patients waiting several hours to be taken home after their appointment… because of patient transport.

Patients unable to use buses or trains… deemed ineligible for patient transport.

These are just a few of the reports we’ve heard from people who’ve been let down by hospital transport. 

And frankly, when you’re living with cancer, transport hassle is the last thing you want to worry about.

Sick of Waiting is the campaign for reliable, accessible patient transport for everyone who needs it. The way that patient transport is commissioned has recently changed, with Clinical Commissioning Groups holding more power. So there’s never been a better time to tell hospital trusts that they must guarantee that patient transport works for patients.

Patient transport is often contracted out to private companies such as G4S, MPS and DHL. But with big discrepancies between transport in different hospitals, we need common standards to ensure all trusts provide a quality service.

Minimum standards in contracting

We’ve joined up with the National Kidney Federation (NKF), Age UK London, The Greater London Forum for Older People, Healthwatch Newham and London Region National Pensioners Convention. We want to see minimum standards on things like waiting time and eligibility criteria written into patient transport contracts. We want to ensure that hospital Trusts have the power to hold to account the private companies who deliver patient transport.

But we can’t do it without you.

We want to hear your stories of patient transport. 

  • Have you or a relative or friend used patient transport in the last year?
  • How did you find it? How long did you have to wait to be picked up? How was the driver and the discharge lounge?

Good or bad, we would like your reports of patient transport. We will use this evidence to help convince Trusts that patient transport contracts must put patients’ needs first. Please answer our very short survey. You can fill it in online here, and find out more about the campaign as it develops on the Transport for All website:

You can also phone us, on 020 7737 2339, and answer the questions over the phone. If you are part of a group of older people, we could post you some surveys to hand out.

We’ll be having an Accountability Assembly in London in October, where we’ll present our Patient Transport Charter. We haven’t set a date yet, but if you register your details on completion of the survey, we’ll send you an invite