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Hospital transport delays caused by 'teething difficulties'

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement concerning problems with patient transport services in the county.

Traditionally, patient transport services in Kent & Medway have been provided by a number of different organisations. In order to provide an equitable, high quality and consistent patient transport service across the NHS in Kent, the commissioning body tendered for a Kent-wide service in 2012. As a result, patient transport services for Kent moved to a new provider, NSL, on 1 July 2013.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, along with the other NHS organisations in Kent, is currently experiencing significant teething difficulties with the change in the provision.

East Kent Hospitals is extremely concerned that many patients are waiting too long for transport for treatment and for their return home and, along with the other NHS Trusts in Kent & Medway, the Clinical Commissioning Groups and NSL, is working to find a long-term, sustainable solution.

We have been assured that more staff are being brought in and that the call burden is now being split between two of NSL’s contact centres. The situation has improved considerably over the last few days.

– East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Hospital managers apologise for transport problems

Hospital managers have apologised for delays in getting patients to and from routine appointments in Kent. A new contractor has taken over their transport system and 'teething problems' are being blamed on a failure to keep up with demand.

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust says it's also experiencing issues with a new computer system which has been causing problems for non-urgent scans and x-rays.