23.3.20 Changes to non emergency patient transport (NEPTS)
COVID-19 patients – confirmed or suspected
- NEPTS transport bookings for COVID-19 patients need to be called through to the contact centre (not online) to ensure all the right and relevant information to send the right crews that are safe and appropriate to move these patients and does not put anyone at any risk
- The booking process asks two distinct questions relation to the patient’s condition and should not be circumvented by answering ‘no’ and putting COVID-19 information within the patient notes (which might get overlooked)
- Many hospitals are now turning away escorts from the front door to try and curb the spread of the virus within their environment. As a result of this, NEPTS will not accept any escort unless there is a mitigating circumstance that requires an escort to travel. This is to support our acute colleagues and reduce the risk of the escort being turned away with no means of returning back to their/patient’s residence.
Hospital Discharge “medically fit” patients (NON COVID)
- The national guidance has been issued around the requirement to increase the number of discharges on a daily basis.
- The guidance given is that organisations should also consider alternative transport options before PTS, Patient Transport is available where needed. Therefore the ask of partner trusts is to look at alternatives first and PTS as a last resort and only where appropriate as we appreciate not all patients will be suitable for discharging in a taxi.
Freeing up capacity
If a patient does not need to come in for their outpatient appointment, cancel it, if a patient needs to be discharged, phone a family member or friend before placing the booking on PTS. We need to collectively protect the resources we have to transport those patients that need to be transported through PTS.
- Reduce/cancel non-essential routine outpatients
- Confirm how many discharges are likely to be on PTS throughout the day so we can match and maximise the resources to meet the demand
- Spread the discharges throughout the day not all in one go at the end of the day
- Keep in touch with the HLOs and operational teams, through the normal channels (bed meetings etc) to understand the priorities and expectations on each other