Akcess, the Swindon community bus company, has stepped in to provide a vital service, transporting dialysis patients to and from Great Western Hospital.
Akcess, which provides school transport and transport for children with special needs, wheelchair users and elderly people with mobility problems, came to the aid of the current provider, which had been struggling to provide a quality service for patients needing dialysis six-days-a-week at GWH.
A community interest company, Akcess was already helping out in Oxfordshire with non-emergency patient transport services, known as NEPTS. Now it has taken on transporting more than 16 people to and from their dialysis treatment in Swindon. And recently, it has also taken on NEPTS transport in Gloucestershire, with between one and two crews a day providing patients with transport home to and from, or between, hospitals throughout the entire county.
To cater for this expanding side of its business Akcess has set up a sister company, Akcess Medical. Director Mark Kennedy has invested in a fleet of ten ambulances, intensive first aid training for staff, and had the operation inspected and fully endorsed by the Care Quality Commission.
“We had been helping out with NEPTS in Oxfordshire for some time,” said Mark. “We were then asked by the same provider to help out with renal patients who were having lengthy waits to be taken to and from their dialysis treatment at Great Western Hospital.
“We set up Akcess Medical Ltd, and have been approved by the CQC, so we could extend our service into Gloucestershire. In fact, ours is the only NEPTS transport vehicle in Gloucestershire to carry a defibrillator.”
Mark ensured all staff undertook an intensive ambulance care assistant course, so they are able to administer first aid; on more than one occasion, they have had to help patients who have been taken ill.
Mark said: “Akcess Medical is still a relatively small part of our business, mainly because the school and day centre transport side has grown extensively over the last year and we now have 135 vehicles on the road, but it has great potential to grow. We have taken over the building next to us here in Elgin for Akcess Medical, so we have the room we need to expand.”
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