Customer Care Team

Our Customer Care team are one of the main points of contact for people using our services.

The team's role is wide and varied, but their main focus is to:

  • Reduce abuse of the 999 call system
  • Minimise cancelled appointments on the Patient Transport Service (PTS)
  • Act as a customer link to NEAS for general advice
  • Recommend services
  • Support new business and contracts
  • Support PTS and deliver training on the PTS online booking service for healthcare providers

Meeting our service users

The Customer Care team hold regular contact meetings with high ambulance user groups such as dialysis, radiotherapy and outpatient departments to try and ensure as seamless an experience as possible.

The team is the first point of contact for staff within hospital departments and GP practices. It is responsible for investigating any problems that arise with ambulance transport.

The contacts within the team are:

Gayle White - manager

Joanne Coyne - Tees / South Durham areas - 07969 193544
Gemma Wilson/Justine Owens - North Durham / South Tyne - 07817 812511
Joanne Brennan - North Tyne / Northumberland - 07973 970994

Or you can email: customercareteam@neas.nhs.uk

Please note, the Customer Care team do not take transport requests. Please contact the booking agent for your area.

Customer Care within Accident & Emergency

One of the most important areas that our Customer Care Team is currently working on is reducing abuse of the 999 and 111 service.

Currently North East Ambulance Service identifies callers who have accessed the 999 and 111 system at a set frequency.  The Trust is also currently working hard to produce a policy and procedure that will ensure effective management frequent callers.  This procedure will ensure that patients who are accessing the 999 system and the 111 service repeatedly are safeguarded from further risk, and when necessary are directed towards the most appropriate healthcare for their needs.

Patients who call the service without a genuine medical need make it harder for us to reach others with more serious or potentially life-threatening conditions.

Patients may call us regularly for various reasons. Some include:

Mental ill-health, personality disorder or dependency conditions promoting a chaotic lifestyle

Patients who lack confidence to manage their condition so that anxiety leads them to call us; this can be especially relevant where patients are unable to access services 'out of hours'

Chronic illness which are either difficult to control or where all the patients' needs are not efficiently addressed

Poor engagement with primary and social care providers, meaning that the emergency system becomes the overall healthcare provider, e.g., homeless patients

There are currently more than 200 persistent caller cases that have been identified by NEAS. In addition, 62 cases have been successfully closed.

In 2010, the Customer Care Team won a Home Office "Tilley Award" for helping develop alongside Cleveland Police, North Tees Hospital and Primecare Cleveland a new method of identifying and prosecuting people who abuse the 999 system.

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