Every weekday, over 20,000 people use NHS non-emergency patient transport services (NEPTS), amounting to around 11-12 million patient journeys per year. That’s a fair number of miles, half a million every weekday to be exact! Providing a safe and reliable service in the face of high demand is a daily challenge faced by Transport Service Managers. And it’s one that’s only heightened when cost pressures are added to the picture.
It’s a common misconception that healthcare experiences simply start and stop at the hospital or GP surgery door. Many patients require transport assistance to and from essential NHS services because of medical or mobility needs.
More and more people are requiring transport, and yet we’re battling a climate crisis. Transport Service Managers are left to juggle an increasing service demand with decreasing levels of carbon emissions. Not the easiest task on the sheet. It’s estimated that NEPTS journeys alone contribute one fifth of direct NHS CO2 travel emissions.
The tightening of pockets
Patients are entitled to receive timely, high-quality journeys from a service provider they can depend on. But the core business of reducing costs across the healthcare sector is making this provision increasingly difficult. The average price of a journey is £38, roughly representing £1 in every £275 spent by the NHS. That’s approximately the same as the total cost of radiotherapy.
A lack of accessible information on service activity combined with poor commissioning is contributing to the overall performance downgrade. But it shouldn’t be this way. At TAAP, we’re all about the upgrade.
When a problem meets a solution
Providing a transport service that meets increased demand, hits sustainability targets, and adheres to financial pressures all whilst upholding patient care standards is no mean feat. So, we developed TAAP Healthcare: Transport Management Software Service to give Transport Service Managers a complete overview of their systems to streamline processes and enhance customer experience.
To comply with health and safety regulations and related legislation, drivers must complete a vehicle inspection daily. The recordings are logged digitally for added assurance, via our simple and intuitive App. Built to show drivers only the information they need, the App provides details of transport jobs, including a ‘call ahead’ phone integration feature. Detailing drivers’ schedules and corresponding routes, the App records each pick up and drop off as it occurs, capturing the date, time, and accurate GPS position for compliant audit logs.
The benefits of a cloud-based system
Transport bookings are made with ease thanks to built-in address lookup features. Hospitals have expanded to occupy multiple premises across a variety of sites, so it’s no longer enough to simply take someone to the main entrance. When users add a booking to TAAP’s platform, it differentiates between departmental sub-locations (like cardiology, oncology, paediatrics etc).
Most people being transported are outpatients, and so they often require return journeys. At the click of a button, users can activate the booking of a ‘reverse route’. The A to B journey and patient details are automatically duplicated, but switched from B to A, saving time in terms of manual administrative tasks.
In addition, when groups of patients originate from the same area, or need to get to the same place at the same time, routes are merged. Not only does this increase the efficiency of the service, but it also helps to reduce the amount of damaging carbon emissions.
The wider network
Arguably, having to liaise with external suppliers is one of the most difficult tasks Transport Service Managers have. Not only may their vehicles differ, but you’re having to consider a whole other company’s capabilities and working patterns, too.
Making this process as easy as possible, our solution allows for the addition of an unlimited number of outside drivers. Prices per mile, days and times of availability, and differing activity types can then be configured depending on the partner’s offering. This makes it simple to invoice and send quotes to external companies, as well as calculate costs of any ad-hoc bookings. All financial information is automatically exported to Excel, too, allowing for reports to be generated in a fast, understandable manner.
At TAAP, we understand the complex logistics Transport Service Managers face. Our expertise in healthcare transport allows us to streamline processes, with user ease in mind. Let’s put you in the driver’s seat.