Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board has worked with St John Cymru and the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) to develop a dedicated discharge transport service for planned discharges across the UHB between 10.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Finance Minister Jane Hutt and Health Minister Lesley Griffiths met the organisers and some patients involved in the scheme during a visit to the University Hospital of Wales.
Jane Hutt said:
"The improved transport service that Cardiff and Vale LHB has developed with St John Cymru and WAST shows what can be achieved by focusing resources and working together.
"We created the Invest-to-Save fund to improve public services for people across Wales. The projects, such as this one at UHW, are delivering real change that will have lasting benefits, during a difficult and very challenging financial period."
Lesley Griffiths said:
"When patients are discharged from hospital they want to get home as soon as possible. Previously some patients had to wait up to 48 hours for transport to be available. Now, thanks to the responsive and flexible system the LHB has developed with St John Cymru and WAST, patients are able to get home without unnecessary delays.
"Not only is this good news for the patient, but it also frees up beds within the hospital for new patients being admitted. Other Local Health Boards are piloting similar non-emergency transport schemes following the Griffiths report. These are also showing similar signs of success and I look to all LHBs to learn from these pilots to ensure no patient faces a delay when attending or leaving hospital."