Bus company's ambulance transports disabled man to The Christie - but not Bolton or Leigh

The Bolton News: Disabled former steward Steven Lucas Disabled former steward Steven Lucas

A DISABLED former steward with skin cancer has been told he no longer qualifies for free non-emergency transport to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Steven Lucas, aged 31, is given free transport to The Christie in Manchester for cancer treatment — but bus company Arriva, which provides the non-emergency service, has told him he does not qualify for lifts to Bolton or Leigh for treatment for his other conditions.

Healthwatch Bolton also says it is concerned about the regional service provided by Arriva Transport Solutions following an increase in complaints from patients.

The private bus and train operator has missed key performance targets every month since taking over the contract from North West Ambulance Service last April — including getting patients to hospital appointments on time and picking them up afterwards.

Mr Lucas, of Boston Street, Halliwell, previously used the free transport service to take him to the Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment to his trapped nerve and to Leigh Infirmary for sleep apnoea.

He said: “I have been registered disabled for three years now and I am disgusted with these changes. When I travel to Leigh, I now have to catch three buses, which is very painful. Arriva said they could take me to the Christie because that was for cancer but not for the others. But I don’t have a car and can only walk a little way.

“This is not just about myself, this is about other patients in Bolton too.”

Arriva refused to comment on Mr Lucas’ individual case but said it was committed to improving patient standards.

Asiya Jelani, head of communications and engagement at Arriva Transport Solutions, said: “When a patient raises a complaint with us, we undertake a full investigation and where we can identify areas of improvement we endeavour to make those improvements and this is shared with the patient and their representatives.

“Overall we have seen an improvement in the number of patients transported within the required standards across a number of areas.”

Comments (8)

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11:20am Sat 15 Feb 14

oftbewildered2 says...

I would have thought the free service was based on degree of mobility etc., not the illness suffered from.
I would have thought the free service was based on degree of mobility etc., not the illness suffered from. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 10

11:56am Sat 15 Feb 14

Merlin says...

If he is using that wheelchair because he cannot walk far then I presume he gets lots of disability benefits, one of which is mobility allowance that should be used to fund a taxi etc
If he is using that wheelchair because he cannot walk far then I presume he gets lots of disability benefits, one of which is mobility allowance that should be used to fund a taxi etc Merlin
  • Score: 31

11:58am Sat 15 Feb 14

Harold 1 says...

Looks like his mobility scooter can get to Old Trafford ! The hospital transport system is hopelessly abused and denies frail elderly legitimate use. This is not a comment on this particular case
Looks like his mobility scooter can get to Old Trafford ! The hospital transport system is hopelessly abused and denies frail elderly legitimate use. This is not a comment on this particular case Harold 1
  • Score: 18

6:06pm Sat 15 Feb 14

The Priceshagger says...

It was always going to happen! When the Patient Transport Service, operated by North West Ambulance Service, was put out to tender and Arriva got the contract it was destined to head downhill.

NO MATTER what they say about taking complaints seriously, that is just corporate waffle and bull5h1t. All Arriva are interested in is two things:

1. Making it pay, and pay well.
2 Getting that contract next time it's up for grabs.

The whole NHS is doomed under these feckless idiots in power. As the heartless c*w Margaret Snatcher was destined to make sure the NHS was privatised from the day got in to No 10, so are this lot.

Remember folks - Once it's gone, it's gone. We will head the American way and end up paying every time we need to see a doctor, need an ambulance and so on.
It was always going to happen! When the Patient Transport Service, operated by North West Ambulance Service, was put out to tender and Arriva got the contract it was destined to head downhill. NO MATTER what they say about taking complaints seriously, that is just corporate waffle and bull5h1t. All Arriva are interested in is two things: 1. Making it pay, and pay well. 2 Getting that contract next time it's up for grabs. The whole NHS is doomed under these feckless idiots in power. As the heartless c*w Margaret Snatcher was destined to make sure the NHS was privatised from the day got in to No 10, so are this lot. Remember folks - Once it's gone, it's gone. We will head the American way and end up paying every time we need to see a doctor, need an ambulance and so on. The Priceshagger
  • Score: 1

9:14pm Sat 15 Feb 14

mr.mark.c says...

He should Pay for transport like the rest of us, he gets is mobility cash and a free bus pass.
He should Pay for transport like the rest of us, he gets is mobility cash and a free bus pass. mr.mark.c
  • Score: 15

9:40pm Sat 15 Feb 14

BWFC71 says...

The Priceshagger wrote:
It was always going to happen! When the Patient Transport Service, operated by North West Ambulance Service, was put out to tender and Arriva got the contract it was destined to head downhill.

NO MATTER what they say about taking complaints seriously, that is just corporate waffle and bull5h1t. All Arriva are interested in is two things:

1. Making it pay, and pay well.
2 Getting that contract next time it's up for grabs.

The whole NHS is doomed under these feckless idiots in power. As the heartless c*w Margaret Snatcher was destined to make sure the NHS was privatised from the day got in to No 10, so are this lot.

Remember folks - Once it's gone, it's gone. We will head the American way and end up paying every time we need to see a doctor, need an ambulance and so on.
We already pay for the NHS - hence the NI contributions!!!!

NHS is not free and has never been free!
[quote][p][bold]The Priceshagger[/bold] wrote: It was always going to happen! When the Patient Transport Service, operated by North West Ambulance Service, was put out to tender and Arriva got the contract it was destined to head downhill. NO MATTER what they say about taking complaints seriously, that is just corporate waffle and bull5h1t. All Arriva are interested in is two things: 1. Making it pay, and pay well. 2 Getting that contract next time it's up for grabs. The whole NHS is doomed under these feckless idiots in power. As the heartless c*w Margaret Snatcher was destined to make sure the NHS was privatised from the day got in to No 10, so are this lot. Remember folks - Once it's gone, it's gone. We will head the American way and end up paying every time we need to see a doctor, need an ambulance and so on.[/p][/quote]We already pay for the NHS - hence the NI contributions!!!! NHS is not free and has never been free! BWFC71
  • Score: -9

5:28pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Ytarmy1958 says...

Arriva Ambulance service has absolutely nothing to do with the bus company. It is a separate company which is owned by Arriva which is inturn owned by Deutsche Bank.
Arriva Ambulance service has absolutely nothing to do with the bus company. It is a separate company which is owned by Arriva which is inturn owned by Deutsche Bank. Ytarmy1958
  • Score: 2

10:08pm Sun 16 Feb 14

BWFC71 says...

Ytarmy1958 wrote:
Arriva Ambulance service has absolutely nothing to do with the bus company. It is a separate company which is owned by Arriva which is inturn owned by Deutsche Bank.
Deutsche Bahn (the German transport company) and not Deutsche Bank (the German Bank)!
[quote][p][bold]Ytarmy1958[/bold] wrote: Arriva Ambulance service has absolutely nothing to do with the bus company. It is a separate company which is owned by Arriva which is inturn owned by Deutsche Bank.[/p][/quote]Deutsche Bahn (the German transport company) and not Deutsche Bank (the German Bank)! BWFC71
  • Score: -13

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