LETTER: Confusion over ambulance trips

Your letters
Your letters

I have recently been hospitalised for the first time in my 64 years, due to a tumour in a bone in my leg. This resulted in a leg and hip amputation at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, which is recognised as the best in the land.

The treatment and staff were first class and I was soon having daily physiotherapy to get me back on track. This was to be followed up on discharge by further physio at Horsham Hospital who duly telephoned me to make my first, and very important, appointment.

Now privatisation steps in as it seems that whilst the ambulances are managed by the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECamb), their movements are controlled by Patient Transport Services (PTS), who seem to be completely ignorant of geography and basic transport management skills.

In my case, the ambulance got lost trying to find its way to me in Loxwood from Brighton, so as to convey me to Horsham Hospital. The result was that I was one hour late for my appointment and it was cancelled, leaving me to wait a further two weeks to get my first physio appointment.

The same ambulance then returned me home, together with another out-patient who told me he had been waiting 90 minutes for transport home. Once back in Loxwood, I then had to give the crew directions back to Brighton.

This cannot be a cost-effective way to run a transport service. The SECam crew were fine but despaired of the running about and impossible timings they were given by PTS.

Please, NHS, when the contract comes up for renewal, keep the whole operation in house. I alone have wasted you money by not being able to keep my appointment.

KEITH WHITE

Vicarage Hill, Loxwood