As we continue into our third national lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic reaches its peak, NHS England and NHS Improvement have revised the guidelines for Non-Emergency Patient Transport. The guidance, which was first published in March, was revised on 3 December and set out the plans for supporting the NHS to resume business as usual, whilst being prepared to facilitate rapid discharges in the event that Covid-19 cases accelerate.
Although the vaccine is now being rolled out to vulnerable patients and key workers, the festive period has propelled the pandemic into catastrophic figures, and PTS providers are being urged to be prepared to support the NHS.
In setting out this guidance, NHS England and NHS Improvement stressed that it is vital that commissioners and providers work together to support the national response and ensure the clinically extremely vulnerable do not suffer, due to lack of patient transport services.
As experts in patient transport services, 365 Response offers dedicated service solutions to enable transport providers to meet the guidance as set out by NHSE/NHSI, and we’re here to help.
Join the eProcure Digital Marketplace Platform
eProcure is a digital marketplace for transport providers to gain access to NHS transport requirements. The platform advertises available work throughout the UK in one easy to use system, which connects NHS Trusts with compliant transport providers to give them fast access to a steady stream of work.
The guidance specified that all PTS providers must:
‘Work in partnership with the NHS to respond to the national situation’
The eProcure platform quickly connects providers with NHS organisations to provide patient transport services and ensure they are readily available and prepared to help as needed.
‘Plan their resources effectively’
Using the eProcure platform, transport providers have access to on day ad-hoc journey bookings as well as advanced notice shift bookings. Having quick access to work in one location assists the provider to effectively plan their resources and quote for work ahead of requirements.
‘Accept all bookings for discharges during hours deemed as appropriate for each contract, with transport recommended to be arranged within two hours of the patient arriving in the discharge area to support the discharge process. Exceptions should be escalated as soon as possible with the provider and the hospital booking transport, with mitigations outlined.’
Using the eProcure platform transport providers can quickly accept or reject work as appropriate. A notification system guarantees that you are alerted to new work as soon as it is posted by the NHS Trust, giving you the best opportunity to plan ahead and meet strict targets.
‘Comply with the guidance referred to in Section 8 on the use of PPE and decontamination of vehicles, while ensuring the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements are met.’
All providers working on the eProcure Digital Marketplace Platform will be required to adhere to strict rules and regulations. We’re here to help you keep track of your compliance and offer appropriate assistance, where possible.
Read the full Patient Transport Service Guidance.
How will care organisations support providers?
Also included in the recent guidance, was the advice to acute and community care organisations and commissioners. During this time, acute and community care organisations must share a forward plan of patients to be discharged as soon as possible, and on a continuous basis. This is instead of 2 or 3 times per day and will enable providers to better plan for demand.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are being advised to continue payment to PTS providers throughout this period to ensure continuity and resilience of service. This should give PTS providers peace of mind that their cash flow will not suffer whilst awaiting payment from large organisations. Specific guidance has been offered in relation to smaller providers;
‘CCGs should ensure that they reimburse their non-NHS providers in a timely fashion to reflect these providers’ differing cash flow requirements, paying particular consideration to smaller providers.’
If you would like to join hundreds of PTS providers on the eProcure Digital Marketplace Platform, contact us today via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll call you back within 24 hours to arrange this.