A DRUMCHAPEL community transport service which also serves residents in Clydebank will be doubling the number of people they help after securing a partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).

G15 Buses will add an Outpatient Connector service to hospitals in the Greater Glasgow area in a bid to offer a low-cost alternative to help those not able to make use of their Patient Transport Service (PTS).

As a day job, the charity whisks locals living in the G15 and G81 postcodes to various destinations across the area as a result of what they describe as “the worst public transport coverage in the region.”

Now, with the introduction of the Outpatient Connector offering – a pairing that came about after a request to G15 from SAS – it’s hoped more people around the two towns than ever will be able to get to non-emergency appointments.

Will Thomson from the group said: “We welcome this opportunity to bring this our original idea for a Connector Service to those in G15.

“Since we started appreciating there are several reasons why someone might not qualify for PTS, and we do not want those who might not qualify to be punished financially.

“We started the charity to link G15 with the Queen Elizabeth. Since then NHS has made better use of its outpatient and Ambulatory hospitals.”

With the new set-up, G15 – which became a charity in 2017 – will be able to take patients looking to get to places such as the Vale of Leven Hospital, the Royal Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Stobhill, to name but a few.

The country’s PTS is an initiative aimed at getting people who have a medical condition or mobility issues to get ambulance transport to their healthcare appointments.

However, if you do not fall into either of these two categories, you cannot use the service.

But now, with the new agreement, SAS has committed to do their best to signpost the G15 charity to people who do not qualify for their service.

Will added: “This feels like a return to the beginning. “We have been on a circular journey, learning lessons daily, to return to the place we started. We are a lot more adept with the NHS now.

“This is only an initial proof of concept, developing our working relationship with the ambulance service.

“When we are in a stronger position to expand the service across the area, we will.

The minimal donation will be £4 for general passengers and, thanks to an earlier donation from the J & J R Wilson Trust, G15 can now carry most Saltire Card Holders, without making a loss.