Patients needing a lift for non-emergency appointments at King George and Queen’s hospitals will soon be picked up from home by a new fleet of “taxi” ambulances from October.

The NHS hospitals trust for Barking, Havering and Redbridge is switching its pick-up service to Barts Health group using a fleet of 37 new ambulances with quicker turn-round times.

“Coming to hospital can be an anxious time,” the trust’s deputy chief executive Matthew Trainer said. “But not having to worry about getting there can make a big difference.

“Having a shared service with Barts Health will help use taxpayers’ money more efficiently.” 

The trust currently contracts out its 77,000 annual non-emergency journeys to G4S, but is switching to Barts Health in-house service which already runs 356,000 trips a year to the Royal London, Newham University and Bart’s hospitals. The G4S ambulance employees are switching to the NHS with a new pay deal.