Non-emergency ambulance services are for patients who don’t need emergency transportation. If you’re unsure whether or not your condition requires an emergency ambulance, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Non-emergency ambulances can be used to transport people within a hospital, as well as for non-emergent transfers between health care facilities. For example, if you need to go from one hospital room to another because of a medical procedure or overnight stay in the hospital, an ambulance could be what’s needed for that trip.
Non-emergency ambulances can also be used by people who have been discharged from the hospital but need help getting home because they don’t have anyone available to take them home safely (or don’t feel comfortable driving on their own).
But before you go dialing that non-emergency ambulance number, you should take a moment to look at the basic facilities any service of this sort should provide. We’ve written a short rundown of these facilities so you can choose the service that’s best for you.
It is important to find a non-emergency ambulance service that can provide wheelchair service. If someone has special needs, then their needs need to be met as thoroughly as possible. Some companies provide wheelchairs that can be folded up for transport and special vehicles that can carry wheelchairs in the back. Some of these services may require multiple wheelchairs at once, so it’s best to call around and get a feel for what your options are before making any decision about an ambulance company.
The first thing to look for in a non-emergency ambulance service is whether they provide local hospital and nursing home transport. If you need to get an elderly relative or friend to the hospital, this type of service will be extremely beneficial. On top of that, if you require a quick response time, your local non-emergency ambulance company must offer bedside-to-bedside service as well.
This means that when they arrive at your location, they will take your loved one directly into their care, rather than leaving them alone while waiting for another vehicle to be dispatched from another location. This also allows the staff on hand at the destination hospital or nursing home to prepare for their arrival immediately rather than having them wait around until other vehicles arrive before anyone can start taking action on behalf of your family member or friend’s health needs.
Patient Handling Equipment
Patient handling equipment is an important part of ambulance services. This equipment is used to transport patients and should be maintained, serviced, and checked regularly to ensure that it’s working properly. You should also be aware of the quality, reliability, and design of any patient handling equipment in use by your chosen service.
When looking at a company’s patient handling equipment, you need to consider:
- Maintenance – Is this item regularly serviced? If so, who does it? How often? What parts are replaced when they break down or wear out? Are there spare parts available in the case that something needs repair or replacement during transport?
- Reliability – How long do these items last before needing repair or replacement (considering their original cost)? Is this something that happens regularly with this model/brand of product (i.e., does everyone else have the same issue)? Are there lots of complaints from other EMS providers about this particular model/brand being unable to withstand regular use over time as designed (i.e., becoming too expensive for routine maintenance)?
- Design – Is there anything special about how these items are designed that makes them more likely than another brand/model with similar features not seen elsewhere around town (i.e., are there special features like locking wheels/casters) which could prove helpful when transporting someone quickly around corners without having them slip off onto rough pavement instead during transfer between vehicles).
Look for a company that has skilled staff. You want to know that these individuals are trained to operate the ambulance and equipment, as well as perform basic first aid and patient movement techniques. They should also be able to address your personal needs during transport, such as providing you with a blanket or helping you use the restroom.
The quality of a company’s staff will likely have an impact on how quickly they can get your emergency under control when it comes time for them to provide medical care. If someone doesn’t have sufficient knowledge about how ambulances work, they may make mistakes while trying to administer emergency care—mistakes that could cost lives!
It is important to request a quote from each ambulance service provider you are considering before making a decision. A free quote is not a contract, and no obligation exists for the provider to accept your offer.
However, if a company that has quoted you does have an obligation to provide services at least once within 30 days of the date on which it provided its quota, then that obligation could be considered binding under certain circumstances (including if the client accepted some form of written confirmation).
In most cases, however, there will be no such obligation after providing a quote unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties in writing. The only thing that’s required when requesting a quote is providing contact information so they can get back with more details about their non-emergency ambulance transportation services.
Company Credentials and Reputation
As with most services, it’s a good idea to check the company’s credentials. Does it have a good reputation and references? Is it insured? What do other customers say about this company? The best way to determine how reputable an ambulance service is is by looking at its registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC is an independent body that checks whether medical practitioners, including non-emergency ambulance services, are meeting national standards. If there are any concerns about their performance or safety record, this will be highlighted in their inspection report.
Professional Policies and Procedures on Patient Care and Transport
The company should also have a quality assurance policy. This means they will regularly check that they are following best practices and that they are adhering to the standards set out by the NHS. They will also ensure that their staff is trained in moving and handling, safe driving, and safeguarding.
If a patient is being transported in an emergency ambulance, then all staff involved must be trained in first aid, infection control, and emergency skills such as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). When you use an ambulance service provider, you need to be confident that your health and safety are their priority too.