British Red Cross Patient Transport Service (PTS) and Kytton’s Guest House

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The PTS (Patient Transport Service) accepts referrals from a range of sources, including hospitals, GPs social workers, intermediate care teams, patients, families and carers. It transports older people who would, for various practical reasons, find it extremely difficult to get from one place to another but whose need is not of the type that requires an ambulance. Typical journeys will be from home to hospital and transfers to the ferry and air ports when hospital appointments are on the mainland.

What you did?

The PTS uses an adapted van with a tail lift that can accommodate up to two wheelchairs. It engages both volunteer drivers and escorts with around sixteen currently participating. The BRC recruits these volunteers and takes care of the various administrative and support aspects of volunteering such as PVG checks, supervision, training and expenses payments. This support is vital to building and then maintaining the capacity of enthusiastic people in the community to help others. Sometimes volunteers will be engaged by another complementary service which can help ensure continuity for those being transported as they will see the same face despite the volunteer having a slightly different role.

The Kytton Guest House works as a ‘step-down’ facility to accommodate people in-between their discharge from hospital and a move back into their own home or other facility. This transition phase can be especially important if they are making a bigger long-term move from their own home to a home in Kirkwall so that they can be close to the other services they need.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

Work is ongoing to systematise evaluation and collect appropriate statistics but the provision of the service is perceived by the NHS to support timely discharge from hospital and thereby make a contribution to reducing delayed discharge and unplanned bed days.

For the moment the success of the service is judged on the basis of the positive personal outcomes experienced by those supported, as reported by those people, and backed up by comments from referrers as to the service’s usefulness. Between October 2011 and October 2012 the service saw a 38.5% increase in use up to a total of 359 journeys.

Contacts - to find out more

Ben Lindsey:

01856 875372