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Patients asked to cancel any non-urgent transport they no longer need
15 November 2017

People in Ipswich and East Suffolk are being urged to cancel any non-emergency transport they no longer need.

The ‘We’ve Saved You a Seat’ initiative is aimed at reducing the number of avoidable empty seats in non-emergency patient transport services (NEPTS) cars and ambulances which have been booked by patients but are then not used and not cancelled.

About 140,000 NEPTS journeys are made each year across Suffolk and Waveney and are used by patients who have a physical or mental condition which mean they are unable to travel to an NHS appointment without support. Each unused seat which isn’t cancelled has to be covered financially by the NHS.

Cath Byford, director of commissioning with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We would urge people to help our NHS to help them by letting NEPTS know if they no longer need to use this important service. That way, we can offer their seat to somebody else who needs specialist support to reach their appointment while also helping vital NHS resources to go further.”

Dr Zohra Armitage, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and NEPTS lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We understand that people are busy and that cancelling their booking may not be their first concern, but we really want to encourage people to make the effort.

“The NHS is facing severe financial pressures and people will be doing their bit to make sure our limited resources are best used and not wasted. The money saved could be spent on improving other local services.”

The campaign is being launched by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, NHS West Suffolk and NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning groups.

Great Yarmouth and Waveney patients can contact NEPTS if they need to cancel their booking by calling 08456 038 115

East and West Suffolk patients can contact NEPTS if they need to cancel a booking by calling 03458 500 774