On 4th April 2017, Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what steps they are taking to reduce waiting times for patients using hospital patient transport.’ The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, asked a follow up question.
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, the Minister speaks with such clear diction that we can hear every word he says. He is not producing a drama, but although I have been listening to him carefully, I do not think that he has answered the Question put to him by the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries. He asked what steps were being taken,
“to reduce waiting times for patients using hospital patient transport”.
I did not hear the answer. All I heard was that the Minister was willing to have a word with him, but it is not just about the noble and right reverend Lord and his wife. A lot of other people are in the same predicament. We want to know what those steps are. That is the nature of the Question and, if I did not hear the response, I apologise.
Lord O’Shaugnessy: I thank the most reverend Primate for giving me the opportunity to come back on this. First, NHS England is working with clinical commissioning groups to make sure that the kind of delays outlined by the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries, do not happen. Also, a series of 39 pilots are being conducted in rural areas which are particularly badly affected by patient transport delays to put in place the kind of transport necessary to make sure that people who cannot get to hospitals and may miss appointments are able to do so.