IAA Executive Chairman, Alan Howson

The IAA is one of a number of ‘stakeholders’ invited by NHSE & I to join an Expert Advisory Group reviewing non-emergency patient transport commissioning, amidst growing concern on the sustainability of this crucial area of provision.

Also invited are representatives from:
– patient interest groups (such as Kidney UK)
– Commissioners (both CCG and hospital based)
– the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives
– an independent provider (G4S Healthcare services)

Commenting, the Association’s Executive Chairman Alan Howson said “The invitation is a reflection of how positively the Association is viewed by Government Departments and Agencies, and follows on from the invitation to join the CQC’s External Strategic Advisory Group looking at the future direction of regulation. It was both interesting and encouraging to see that despite the different interests represented, there was a lot of common ground. ”

Initial discussions identified a number of areas for consideration:
– the absence of accurate of patient data.
– the need for consistent patient eligibility criteria to eliminate local variations.
– how to mitigate against the ‘race to the bottom’ in the commissioning process.
– the challenge of empowering patients to choose their transport versus the reality of moving millions of patients.
– the use of ‘digital’ to reduce out-patient attendances.
– the anomaly of bus-lane restrictions for non-emergency ambulances versus taxis.
– the scope of CQC regulation and the use of taxis to transport patients.

Call for Evidence
NHS England and Improvement has also created a platform to enable interested parties to contribute to the review; this ‘call for evidence’ closes on 13th March 2020.

Round-table Events
NHS E & I are also organising a number of themed ’round-table’ events aimed at transport service providers, commissioners, voluntary, community, and patient organisations. Individuals or organisations wishing to take part can email nhsi.neptsreview@nhs.net. Places are limited and participants will be selected to ensure a balance of different perspectives and areas of expertise.

There will also be a number of webinars open to anyone interested in contributing to the review. Further information and details of how to register can be be found via this link.