Patient transport

Every month, over 10,000 patients require assistance to get to and from our hospitals. As a trust, we now manage the safe and efficient transportation of our patients.

We're committed to continue improving our patient transport services. Since we took measures to improve the service for our patients, we have seen more than 90% of our renal patients being dropped off and picked up on time for their vital dialysis sessions. This is an improvement of more than 35% since January 2016.

As part of these improvements, we will also be introducing an assessment process so that our most vulnerable patients are prioritised for transport services, and alternative options are used where that is appropriate for the patients’ needs.

We're confident that our patients will receive a safe and sustainable transport service under our management. We're looking forward to building on our success with the renal transport service measures to make sure our patients can get to and from our hospitals safely and on time. 

Our new phone number for requesting patient transport is 03300 416 767. For more information about requesting patient transport, and eligibility, visit NHS Choices

Changes to patient transport services

We are introducing changes to transport services that take you to and from the hospitals managed by Barts Health NHS Trust. These include Mile End, Newham University, The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s and Whipps Cross hospitals.

We want to provide a safe and efficient service that best meets the needs of our most vulnerable patients. To help us do that, we need to prioritise transport services for patients that are unable to access other transport options because of a medical or clinical need.

Other hospitals in London have shown that prioritising patients that need it most can reduce delays by 15%. It also reduces the number of journeys our ambulance staff make, making our patient transport service better for the environment.

Over the next few months, we will be introducing three changes:

  1. Prioritising patient transport services for patients that need it most because of a medical or clinical need
  2. Prioritising carers that need to provide additional support to their friend or relative because of a medical or clinical need
  3. Removing access to patient transport services for patients who regularly contribute to avoidable delays to the service

Some of these changes will be introduced from 1 June 2018 and are explained in more detail overleaf. Other aspects will be introduced later in the year and we want to get feedback from those who could be affected so we implement them in the right way for patients and carers. Therefore we are holding three workshops:

  • Newham – Tuesday 29 May, 2.45pm-5.45pm.
    The Events Room at Newham Education Centre, Newham Hospital, Glen Road, Plaistow, E13 8SL
  • Tower Hamlets – Wednesday 30 May, 9am-12pm.
    Room 3, The Atrium, Mile End Education Centre, Mile End Hospital, E1 4DG?????
  • Waltham Forest – Friday 1 June, 9am-12pm
    Harmony Hall, 10 Truro Road, Walthamstow, E17 7BY

If you would like to attend one of these workshops please register online

If you have any questions about these changes, or are having trouble registering for a workshop, please feel free to get in touch with us by emailing northeastlondon.transport@nhs.net

What changes are we introducing?

Prioritising patient transport services for patients that need it most because of a medical or clinical need

To help us better understand your transport requirements, our booking team will ask you a set of questions when you contact us to request transport. They are based on a national framework that was developed by the Department of Health and have been adapted by our doctors and nurses in east London.

Prioritising carers that need to provide additional support to their friend or relative because of a medical or clinical need

There will be times when patients need their carer to travel with them; however where patients can travel safely in our ambulances with the support of our trained staff, carers will need to access other transport options to attend hospital appointments with their friend or relative.

We currently transport carers in one out of every five of our journeys, whereas other hospitals transport less than one carer in every ten journeys. By reducing the number of journeys where patients are accompanied by carers, we can increase the number of patients transported in one journey.

Removing access to patient transport services for patients that contribute to avoidable delays to the service

We will be removing access to the transport service for patients that regularly contribute to avoidable delays. This includes patients that fail to cancel their transport request when they choose not to attend their hospital appointment. Every month, more than 400 patients fail to cancel their transport request which leads to delays for other patients.

We appreciate that circumstances can change unexpectedly, so this will only apply where patients fail to provide us with more than 24 hours’ notice of cancellation on three separate occasions.

When will these changs be introduced?

  • 1 June 2018: change to access is introduced for patients that contribute to avoidable delays
  • September 2018: change to access is introduced for carers
  • September 2018: change to access is introduced for patients