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Single number for healthcare transport for Ceredigion patients

Friday, 20 July 2012
Patients registered with Ceredigion GP Practices can now access non-emergency transport for both first and follow up appointments by using one single number – 0845 – 8401234 (local rates apply).
Hywel Dda Health Board and Hywel Dda Community Health Council have worked in partnership to ensure booking transport is easier for patients and their carers.
 
It means that patients can book their transport for all future appointments at Hywel Dda Health Board hospitals, as opposed to new appointments only, which was previously the case.
 
Patient journeys not covered by the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST), are then co-ordinated by a dedicated project support manager who can sign post and in some cases book transport with alternative providers such as voluntary sector organisations.
 
A leaflet about the new service has been produced and been distributed to GP practices, voluntary organisations and other healthcare settings to raise awareness.
 
Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships for Hywel Dda Health Board Peter Llewellyn said: “We understand that the number of phone calls taken at Powys Health Board about the service has doubled and that there has been very positive feedback from staff and patients.”
 
Ashley Warlow, Chief Officer of the Hywel Dda CHC said: “I’m delighted at the launch of this new initiative. A simpler booking system was long overdue and particularly in the large rural environment of Mid and West Wales where travel is essential. Congratulations to everyone for making it happen.’
 
The Health Board is committed to making improvements in non-emergency transport for patients across Mid and West Wales. A number of initiatives are currently being piloted and includes opportunities for local voluntary and charitable organisations to provide transport for some of the 70,000 patient journeys undertaken each year.
 
It is hoped this will result in improving access to transport for patients, reduce the cost of aborted and cancelled journeys and free up ambulances for more specialised work such as transporting stretcher patients.
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