As well as dealing with ‘999’ emergency calls, West Midlands Ambulance Service plays a key role in getting thousands of patients to and from their hospital appointments.
Our patient transport service (PTS) operation covers many parts of the West Midlands, although some hospitals are served by other providers. We also provide transport for patients in Cheshire, Warrington and The Wirral. More detail can be found on the dedicated pages for each main contract.
We take people to NHS appointments in many situations. These may include:
- hospital outpatient appointments
- life-saving treatments such as renal dialysis, radiotherapy and chemotherapy
- admission to or discharge from hospital and transfers between hospitals
We don’t transport patients for private appointments, nor for routine visits to GPs, dentists and so on.
Every year, our staff complete over 900,000 Patient Transport Service (PTS) journeys, travelling more than 6 million miles in over 450 vehicles! We employ around 900 staff who ensure patients get to their hospital appointments throughout the region, and the rest of the UK, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our staff are supported by volunteer car drivers and community transport groups in many areas.
WMAS has a vast experience of running PTS operations and has successfully won new contracts in this competitive area by being able to show that we can cater for individual patient needs. One of the key areas for us is to ensure our staff are well trained and that they have the right equipment to provide the highest quality service to our patients. PTS staff are fully trained in basic first aid; manual handling; infection prevention and control; and driving.
Amongst the fleet we use, we have cars with wheelchair capacity, ambulance vehicles which can either provide seating or be adapted to allow wheelchair access. The Trust also has a number of ambulance vehicles with stretcher capacity, should the need arise. We have the capability of providing specialist transport including Fast Response discharges, High Dependency vehicles (including paramedics), bariatric transport and End Of Life journeys.
Transport requests are made by phone or online through our dedicated regional control room. Patients or Healthcare Professionals will be asked a number of questions to determine eligibility and to ensure the most appropriate transport is booked. The eligibility criteria for using PTS is set by each individual hospital or commissioning body.