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What to Consider When Choosing Patient Transport

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The first step to a stress-free patient transport experience is choosing the right provider. It’s just as much about the staff as it is the vehicle- vulnerable patients require a secure vehicle paired with a friendly, qualified team. The transport must have medical equipment on board, and the transport team must be able to reduce anxious feelings. 

Here’s a list rounding up all the things to think about when choosing a patient transport provider. 

What medical equipment is on board the vehicle?

This is likely the main decider when choosing patient transport, as some patients will require specific types of medical equipment. Especially if the destination is a hospital, incidents could occur at any time throughout the journey- the transport vehicle needs to be prepared at all times. The aim is always to help the patient arrive in the best state possible, and sometimes the patient will require medical attention to achieve this. 

Patient transport vehicles should always be equipped with a defibrillator, basic first aid kits, and oxygen supplies. The transport team should also be fully trained to use all this equipment, and be confident doing so. Patient safety is a top priority, even above comfort, so this is why having the correct medical equipment on board is crucial. Whether choosing transport for you or somebody else, think about any equipment the patient may require, and find vehicles where this is included.

What is the transport’s pricing? 

The pricing of patient transport is something that should be considered, as this can vary. You don’t want to be splashing out on a ridiculous amount of money if you don’t need to, but you do sometimes get what you pay for. Before choosing a patient transport provider, it’s essential to shop around to find an option that suits your budget. Don’t be afraid to call providers to request further price information; they are always more than happy to help! 

For patients requiring transport to a hospital, the NHS sometimes provides the vehicle free of charge. This only applies if the patient has a medical condition preventing them from making the journey independently- or the skills of a care assistant are required throughout the journey. 

Is a niche required? Does the transport have a niche? 

If the patient has specific needs, then transport that satisfies these needs is crucial. If the patient struggles with mobility, then a transport service that is accessible is required. If the patient struggles with sensory overload and suffers from anxiety, then distraction materials may be necessary. 

Sometimes, it may be essential for the transport to be secure. One area of speciality for patient transport is the unique needs of a mental health patient during journeys. Journeys with specialised teams will be planned with this in mind. Distraction methods, such as TV’s onboard, are often provided to keep mental health patients relaxed and as comfortable as possible. 

Who are their services aimed for? 

Most patient transport providers usually target their business towards different types of service providers. This can include the NHS, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local authorities,

care homes, and insurance companies. Also, some patient transport teams offer these services to clients privately. 

Different providers cater to different types of patients. A patient transport team that works with inmates moving from prison needs a more secure vehicle than a provider transporting care home patients. A provider working with care homes predominately may specialise in handling dementia patients. Still, they wouldn’t be as well equipped to transport a child with physical health issues to the hospital. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions 

When you’re searching for a suitable patient transport provider, don’t hold back from picking up the phone and asking questions! If you are searching for a private transport provider, EMA Patient Transport is a fantastic choice! They provide mental health transport and non-emergency patient transport via state of the art, bespoke, fully equipped vehicles. With a dedicated team of nursing clinicians and support workers (all from various backgrounds and skillsets), you can be sure to receive the best service. 

Get in touch today on 0800 634 1478 or drop them an e-mail at enquiries@emapatienttransport.co.uk.

Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.

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