After implementing RLDatix’s Allocate Transport Marketplace solution, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has been able to eliminate 12-hour trolley breaches for patients waiting for transport and see its average transport waiting time drop to just five minutes.

The trust first introduced the digital solution in 2018. A recent audit has since revealed that the average waiting time for patients waiting for a transfer from accident and emergency to another hospital within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, is just five minutes. In addition, the issue of 12-hour trolley breaches due to transport delays has been eliminated altogether. Prior to using the service,  many patients requiring transport in the evening would have to wait until the following morning to be moved.

Research from RLDatix, who developed the patient transport digital service, has found that the NHS could save as much as £70m a year if it was adopted across the board.

According to the company, the NHS spends £460m every year on patient transport, with over 32,000 journeys taken daily. However, with 70% of patients waiting up to three hours for their transport, it can delay other patients from being admitted to hospital and create lengthy delays in accident and emergency departments as a result.

Leigh Maylon, product manager from RLDatix, said: “Getting patients safely to and from hospital is a critical part of patient flow, but currently, our figures show, that the service is not working for patients, NHS trusts or for NHS finances.

“The NHS Winter Plan highlights the importance of trusts having a robust approach to transport in place, but we know from our work in the NHS that patients are waiting long periods of time for their transport and that the costs of these services do not offer value for money.”

Allocate Transport Marketplace enables transport providers to bid for work from NHS trusts. The free digital service is compliant with NHS England safety standards and has pre-approved and pre-accredited transporter providers on its books.

Kris Wujkiw, operations manager, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “The introduction of Allocate Transport Marketplace has helped us reduce 12-hour trolly breaches due to transport delays to zero – meaning patients get the specialist care they need quicker while we maintain flow within our emergency department allowing us to continue to receive patients who need our help. In addition, we have saved over £198,000 by being able to safely discharge patients out-of-hours.”

Maylon added:  “Our customers see on average a 15% reduction in their non-emergency patient transport costs – which if every trust across the UK used it – would save the NHS nearly £70 million per year or £20 million this winter alone.”

Two years ago, RLDatix completed its acquisition of Allocate Software to help widen its presence in the healthcare market.