Chance to join a patient and public working group on inter-hospital transport

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Would you like to join a working group on inter-hospital transport? There is an opportunity to get involved in the discussions that form part of Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership discussions on Monday evening. But places are now very limited, so you will need to register your interest by 2pm this afternoon.

The background

Being involved in local discussions, you will be aware that there are proposals, which are currently the subject of public consultation, to make changes to some specialist hospital services, which may require patients and families to travel further than their local hospital for certain aspects of specialist care.

These proposals are published in detail on our website at

You will also be aware that alongside these clinical proposals, we have proposed to introduce a free transport service to support families and carers to visit their loved ones during a relatively short stay in a specialist hospital unit.

During the consultation process we have asked people to give their views and ideas about what matters to patients and families while receiving hospital care and how we could help those who may have to travel further than their local hospital, as a result of proposed changes in specialist services.

We have already had a range of ideas for consideration, and we will include these in a published outcome report to inform commissioning decisions later in the year.

This lays a foundation upon which we can develop the proposed transport help for families and other ways of supporting people.

For those of you who are members of the STP Service Users Advisory Group (SUAG), this is part of the plan we have discussed for involving service users in operational planning and service design post consultation.

We are planning further work beyond the consultation and this is where we are asking for your help.

Aim of the working group on 19 March
The main aim of the working group is to identify key issues and ideas that would inform the development of a proposed inter-hospital transport service for families and carers.

By holding a working group that is limited in size, but has a balance of interests from across mid and south Essex, the aim is to have a focus on the transport proposal that will support a detailed discussion to inform future plans.

The working group should also aim to provide some suggestions to the STP and service providers about how the development work should progress and whether and how local service users might continue to be involved.

Initiating local involvement in further development work
As a first step, we would like to set hold a working group session with patient and public representatives as part of the potential development of a free inter-hospital transport service for families and carers (as proposed in the consultation document for hospital service changes).

We would like to initiate this work with some willing volunteers who have a keen interest in the development and/or some experience of patient transport, either as a patient, a carer or possibly as a transport provider.
Chris Gasper, whom many of you may know as an active member of the SUAG core group and other patient and public representative groups in Southend, has volunteered to chair an initial meeting at 6pm until 8pm on Monday 19 March in Ambulance headquarters in Chelmsford.

A balanced representation at this initial discussion
Given the broad geographical spread of mid and south Essex and the different characteristics and interests of each locality, we propose that there should be a balance of interests from across the districts and boroughs, and some diversity of interests within the group.

To achieve this we are suggesting the following:

Any willing volunteer should write to us with a brief summary of the following:

  • Where you live
  • Whether you are involved with any organisations or groups that are associated with health, care and transport
  • Whether you have any experience that may be relevant and helpful to the development of a transport service for families and carers
  • Whether or not you are available to join the discussion on 19 March

Chris Gasper as chair for the session will then select an appropriate balance of representatives to form a working group of no more than 30 people.

if we are not able to include you at this stage or you are interested in being involved and not able to get to the session on 19 March, this need not exclude you from being involved in the continuing development of potential new transport service. One of the aims of this initial discussion will be to consider how people could be supported to be involved on a continuing basis.

Programme for the 19 March

  • 6pm Arrival and welcome with a short visit to the ambulance control centre
  • 6.20 Introductions and aims for the session
  • 6.30 Update on the development of proposals for a new inter-hospital clinical transport service – with Dr Ronan Fenton, who is leading this work and others who are involved, including East of England Ambulance Service
  • 7pm Discussion session to consider the issues and current ideas for a proposed family and carer transport service
  • 7.45 Agreement of next steps and potential role of the working group
  • 8pm Finish

For further background, I have attached a summary sheet that introduces the transport issues and proposals. This is also available in the Resources section of our website at

Please get in touch!
If you are interested in being part of developing this proposed new service to support families and carers, please email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And don’t forget to include the summary information about your interests as requested in the bullet points above.