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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS

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Patient transport service

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Only doctors, dentists and midwives can arrange ambulance transport for patients who are medically unfit to travel by other means. You should arrange your own form of transport wherever possible, such as friends, relatives or public transport.

If, however, you are medically unfit and as a result cannot use public transport or you do not have a relative or friend who can take you, an ambulance may be able to bring you to the hospital and return you home.  The hospital will assess your needs to find out whether an ambulance should be booked for you in future


It is difficult for the ambulance service to provide an exact time of arrival, so please be prepared to leave at the earliest stage possible.

Please be ready 1 1/2 hours before your appointment time.  However, if you live a long way from the hospital, it could mean that the ambulance arrives earlier than this.

Whatever time you arrive at the hospital the staff will try to see you as soon as they can.

There is very little space for patients’ belongings.  Where possible, a friend or relative should try to bring any essentials. If staying overnight in hospital, you will be able to bring an overnight bag.

Only if there is a medical need.  You must remember that every escort occupies a seat that could be used by another patient.

Attendance at a first appointment is often planned by your General Practitioner (GP) and you will not automatically be able to take an escort. Friends or relatives can travel by car or public transport and meet you at the hospital. Should there be a possibility that you are admitted, and you have authorised escort with you, then your escort would need to be able to return home on their own.

All escorts must be authorised by the hospital for future transport to appointments.


Every journey costs us, the NHS and the hospital time and money.  If you are not going to attend your appointment for whatever reason, please let the hospital clinic know, and also let them know that your ambulance journey will need to be cancelled, or you can inform us direct using the same number above.

The hospital will inform the ambulance service of your cancellation.  This will then allow us to use your seat for another patient. This will not affect any future bookings that are made for you.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at NWAS can help you with any complaints, queries, compliments or suggestions you may have. Please see the PALS section in Patients & Visitors for contact details.
In most cases, the hospital will notify the ambulance service once your clinic visit has ended.  There may be hospital porters who will collect you and return you to the ambulance waiting area. You should report to the PTS Ambulance reception desk if there is one in your hospital and they will update our records and be able to allocate you a vehicle for your journey home.

The Ambulance Service keeps a certain amount of information about you so that we can give you the most appropriate care. This information may be written down or held on a computer but is always kept in strict confidence. The Patient Transport Service will usually receive the patient’s name, address, condition and any information that is relevant to your transport and care while you are with the ambulance staff.

The Data Protection Act is the law that states that information about you can only be used in certain ways. This is always followed by NWAS. If you are concerned about the use of your information please contact: Chris Gresty, Head of Health Informatics, North West Ambulance Service Headquarters, Ladybridge Hall, 399 Chorley New Road, Bolton, BL1 5DD.


Occasionally you may visit other departments within the hospital or clinic, which may cause a delay. It is important to make the staff in these departments aware that you have transport booked. They can stay in touch with the ambulance service so that we know where you are. Both the ambulance service and the hospital try very hard to make sure that this is taken into account.

Even when there are delays, we will try to take you home as soon after your treatment as possible. If you have been waiting 45 minutes please ensure the ambulance reception desk have recorded your arrival. It is our aim that all patients are collected within one hour of completing their appointment, so please let us know when you are ready.


If your ambulance has not arrived in the time you expected, please telephone the hospital (the number is on your appointment card) to check if an ambulance has been booked for you.

If the ambulance has not been arranged then let them know your situation and that you need an ambulance to attend the appointment. Wherever possible we will do our best to pick you up.

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