Outpatient transport ‘rubbish’, woman claims

A woman whose sick husband is dependent on ambulance transport to see specialists at hospital has hit out at a patient transport company for making him miss appointments.

Jean Deller, 59, of Mattock Road, Hitchin criticised Medical Services which is contracted to ferry outpatients to Lister Hospital, after her husband Anthony, 62, was forced to reschedule appointments after drivers turned up late.

"The bloody transport is rubbish," Mrs Deller said. "He missed an appointment last week. He was getting agitated because it's getting later and later.

"They say be ready two hours before your time, but the transport turns up 15 minutes after his appointment.

"You have to ring up and complain to someone in London. 'We are just busy' - that is the response you normally get. One of them had the cheek to say get a taxi.

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"The specialist wasn't very pleased that he missed him. It obviously makes clinics run late.

"It's very frustrating. I'm sure there must be more people out there who are having the same problem."

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Judith Jackson, director of Medical Services, admitted crews had been late on two occasions to Mr Deller's home.

"On both January 18 and February 24 our crews arrived at Mr Deller's address. Although behind schedule, they did apologise and explained that the transport office staff at Lister Hospital had already confirmed with the clinic at the hospital that Mr Deller would be seen if he arrived after the time of his appointment.

"However, on both occasions Mr and Mrs Deller declined to travel. On six other dates since January 1 we have transported Mr Deller on schedule.

"We do take seriously the responsibility of family members and carers who support patients and always try to limit the travel and waiting times involved. We will do everything possible to improve both Mr and Mrs Deller experience in the future."

A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital, said although he was unaware of any major issues with patient transport, lateness was "unacceptable".

"When we are aware of the problems we do contact Medical Services," he said.

Have you had an issue with patient transport running late? Let us know at editorial@thecomet.net

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