Hurray Porters and the service that's grown!

Magic idea to recruit volunteer porters should help PTS turnaround times

Four more hospitals in the North East have adopted a scheme which should speed up the time it takes non-emergency ambulances to get back on the road.

The volunteer porter project started in 2010 at North Tyneside General Hospital.

Patient Transport Service crews take outpatients to their appointments.

Previously, PTS crews had to wait with the patient until they had been booked in by the hospital. Now volunteers carry out the task.

Volunteer porters are not used for emergency A&E patients.

Following it's launch, the volunteer portering project was extended to Wansbeck General Hospital and James Cook University Hospital.

Recruitment is under way to place more volunteers at these sites; the volunteers will be back covering Monday - Friday 09.00 - 16.00 .

As well as recruiting for the existing sites the project has been approved to extend to the Newcastle Hospitals (Freeman & RVI), University Hospital North Tees and Sunderland Royal.

Many of the volunteers are wanting to gain experience of NHS working which will assist them in progressing to employment.

Chris Black NEAS Project Manager said: "This is a really good chance to show other NHS organisations what NEAS and PTS is all about. Right care, right place and right time.

"The previous project has helped quite a few people in to full time employment and gain experience in the NHS environment.

"By working closely with voluntary organisations and jobs centres we can enhance NEAS's reputation to members of the public. The time saved to crews will enable NEAS to continue to deliver a quality patient focused service and will assist with the transition of PTS moving to an appointment based service"

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