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Whittington Hospital trust apologises over hour-long waits for patients using its transport service

PUBLISHED: 16:35 04 November 2019

The Whittington Hospital. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

The Whittington Hospital. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

The NHS trust that runs the Whittington Hospital has apologised for the lengthy waits endured by patients using its recently outsourced transport system.

Complaints have been made about long delays for lifts to and from the Magdala Avenue hospital since DHL took over the running of the service in September.

Husman Kanu, a 65-year-old from Tottenham, waited for more than three hours in the waiting room on Saturday October 26 after a physiotherapy appointment.

The amputee who uses a wheelchair and has to travel to the hospital almost every week told this paper: "I always have problems, man. They say there is a high volume of people using it.

"Usually I have to wait 40 minutes or an hour but on that day I finished my physiotherapy and was taken to the waiting room by my physiotherapist. I was there for more than three hours, just waiting. I had already made my appointment for them to pick me up. I was almost crying inside because I can't move."

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Whittington Health NHS Trust said it was aware of the problems and was working on resolving them with DHL and three other north London trusts that entered into the contract - North Middlesex, Moorfields and the Royal Free - as soon as possible.

But Husman, who also has to visit the Royal Free, says the service was much better before being outsourced to DHL.

"Before they changed it, it was regular," he said. "There were no delays and when you phoned to book it you got it on time, you didn't wait more than 10 minutes."

DHL has been providing Patient Transport Services in London for over 20 years and in 2018 they completed more than 550,000 patient journeys.

A Whittington Health spokesperson said: "We apologise to anyone who have been affected and are working closely with NHS partners and DHL who provide our transport service to address these issues as quickly as possible."

Have you experienced long waits since the transport service changed provider? Contact the newsdesk on 020 7433 0104 or email sam.gelder@archant.co.uk.

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