The purpose, the philosophy of Community Transport is basically to ensure everybody in society has a ‘fair go’ – access to passenger transport services that everyone needs to carry on with life.How Does it Work?
In NSW, Community Transport is normally operated by a non profit organisation. These organisations are funded by government to provide passenger transport services. Funds are provided on a geographic basis. LMCTG is funded to provide Community Transport services to eligible people living in the Marrickville and Leichhardt municipalities.Are we Speaking your Language?
The Passenger Information Booklet, and also our Concise Guide to Services leaflet, are available in various community languages.You’re also welcome to contact our office directly. To use an interpreter over the telephone please call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.First Things First
Access to Community Transport services is not an entitlement in the same way that, say, health treatment is under Medicare. That has 2 effects on services;
• You need to be eligible to receive services.
• Services are not guaranteed – they must be within the resources of the project.
Am I Eligible?
LMCTG services are funded under 2 different programs;
• The Home and Community Care (HACC) Program, and
• The Community Transport Program (CTP)
LMCTG applies for funding under these (and other) programs, but the decisions are made by politicians and bureaucracies. The funding defines the eligibility requirements – they are not decided by LMCTG. Both these funding sources have different eligibility requirements.
CTP Funded Services
CTP services are for people who are “Transport Disadvantaged”.
That’s any circumstance where you have limited or no access to private transport and can’t make use of ‘conventional’ transport, like buses or trains. It’s not just a question of whether conventional transport services operate near you, it’s also whether you can use them. Unlike HACC, CTP services are available to a person of any age, with or without a disability – they’re for anybody who is Transport Disadvantaged. Again, if you’re uncertain, check with our office.So
What should I do now?
You’ve probably guessed! Please phone our office. Our office staff can discuss with you your situation and circumstances, and advise you about both services and eligibility. If you’re eligible and wish to proceed, then you need to go ‘on our books’. Staff will arrange for an assessment process, which is easily done over the phone, and takes about 15 minutes to complete. If you’re not eligible, our staff will do their best to advise you of any transport alternatives.Can I
Refer someone else?
You certainly can. Naturally we need to know if that person is interested in our services, and agrees to become a passenger.
The process is easy and straightforward. Firstly you’ll be asked basic details, such as your name, address, and so on. The next part is to find out about how we can best serve you. That involves asking questions about your ability to do things now. That’s so we can ensure our driving staff know in advance about things like whether or not you’ll need assistance from the door, getting into the vehicle, etc. We need to know the name and some details of who to contact in case of an emergency, your Carer (if you have one), etc. In the interest of serving you better, we hope you’ll consider providing answers, but it’s your decision to answer questions or not.
Registration involves providing info about your doctor and emergency contacts. If you have details such as phone numbers and addresses ready before you call, it makes the process quicker and easier. It’s important that you authorise the person you nominate to be your contact.
One final step
After completing the questions, you’ll be asked if you agree to some of your information being made available to other parties.
If you agree, statistical information concerning your use of services will be provided to government agencies. The data is encrypted into a code before being sent to them. It is used for planning purposes, and is useful to both LMCTG and the funding bodies. The data is also used as proof that LMCTG has provided services to you, and is used in funding decisions. We will also pass that info on to other local agencies if asked to do so. This is so that you do not have to repeat the same info back to other local organisations you may want to use in the future. If you do not agree to the info being passed on, we keep the information for our use only. More information about how this works is available by contacting the office.
LMCTG is bound to privacy legislation, and we conform to those requirements. All information regarding passengers is kept secure in our Office. Old paper based information and records are regularly disposed of correctly, and computer based information is password protected. Your private information will never be disclosed to anyone without your permission. You have a right to be informed of any of your personal information.
Your decision to withhold information for privacy reasons does not affect your right to services.
You may want to wait for your Service Plan to arrive by mail (see below), but either way you’re ready to book! By this stage staff should have discussed with you the type of service or services that are available, and suit your needs. They can also advise of times and dates that are available.
Your Service Plan
Being clear about expectations of what you’re receiving from LMCTG is a good thing for you and a good thing for us! Your Service Plan is a written statement from LMCTG as to what services you have chosen, the conditions attached to those services (for instance, the fee), and when you expect to receive them (such as fortnightly). You should receive it within 2 weeks after registering. You will receive your plan by mail (or email if you prefer), this booklet, other leaflets about our services, and any other information you’ve requested – or staff think might be useful to you. If you consider the Service Plan incorrect, please contact the office immediately.
Bookings can only be made through the office – not with Drivers. Different services have different ways to book. Regular shopping services, and our Shuttle services, for instance, can be booked on a routine basis, such as a permanent fortnightly booking. Or you may prefer to just call (in advance) when you want to use them. Transport to appointments is usually booked as the appointment arises. Whatever the case, making your request early usually is the best way.
If you’re wanting a trip to a doctor’s appointment, then please ensure you contact the office in advance, as soon as you know when your appointment is. These services, Individual or Flexible Transport, are frequently booked heavily, and you may have to wait some weeks for your first trip.
Contacting the Office
You can contact the office by visiting in person, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone. Overwhelmingly passengers contact us by phone, and with a very large number of people on our books, sometimes the system becomes very busy, particularly of a morning. If you are answered by the answering service, please wait for the end of the recorded message, wait for the beep, and then leave your message. Obviously you need to leave your name and telephone number, but a brief statement on what you’re calling about may assist staff in being ready with the information you need. All messages are responded to, but please note that staff are required to prioritise transport issues of the day, such as the return trips from doctors appointments. There may be a delay while staff research your request, or the office might simply be swamped with calls. Your patience is appreciated. For Outings (only) please note that a booking request is not responded to immediately unless the Outing in question is already booked out. Closer to the date you will be contacted with a time when you will be picked up for that Outing.
Office hours are 8am to 4pm, weekdays. Messages recorded after 4pm are not collected by staff until the following business day morning.
The office will always attempt to contact you if a service is cancelled or there are significant delays in the schedule. It’s very helpful if your home phone has an answering service. If you have a mobile phone, please let the office know. It’s a far faster and direct method of letting you know of events, and, in the case of Individual or Flexible Transport, we can advise you directly of when a return trip is available. Please ensure your mobile is switched on, and also that you have a message service.
When LMCTG services are full, passengers are asked if they would like to go on the ‘wait list’, in case another passenger cancels, and the time becomes available. It is rare that we don’t have at least one person on the wait list for any particular day, and having 4 to 6 people on the list is not uncommon.
If you are unable to attend your booking, it is an enormous help if you contact the service. That way we can allocate your seat to someone on the list, someone who otherwise will miss out.
LMCTG cannot and does not guarantee your service, but will always do its utmost to ensure it occurs. Unexpected mechanical problems or sudden driver illness can occur. We have contingency plans in those events, but infrequently these fail. If a service is cancelled we will always attempt to contact you.
Our fees help recover some of the costs of running the service. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, then feel free to have a confidential talk with the Office. We may be able negotiate a cheaper fare for you or come to some other agreement. Drivers are not permitted to negotiate fees, so please discuss the matter with the office well before your trip.
You will not to be denied care and services because of your inability to pay a fee for reasons beyond your control.
Assistance on Services, generally
All services provide a level of assistance, and Drivers will always assist you with things like getting in or out of the vehicle, should you need it. However please note carefully that the level of assistance varies, depending on the type of service. Our Shopping Services in Leichhardt, for example, have an Assistant on board to assist you with your shopping items. The Shuttle services, however, are not designed for bulk shopping, and do not have an Assistant. For safety reasons, the Drivers on the Shuttle services are not able leave the vehicle and assist with shopping to your door. The Office is happy to advise you on the level of assistance on different services, but ultimately the choice of service is up to you.
Personal Assistance, specifically
Obviously, not all passengers are the same – some need more help, others less. Determining what level of assistance is appropriate for individual passengers is no easy matter. What one passenger may consider as appropriate assistance may be considered by another passenger as fussing, demeaning of their ability, an injury to their pride. Drivers need clarity in this regard. Assistance is part of the service, so please let our Drivers know if you need help.
Information at your fingertips
Getting information about services or any aspect of LMCTG operations is quite easy.
Via the Office
In person or over the phone, the office staff can provide info about;
– Access to services and eligibility
– Details of all our services and how things work
They can arrange for you to be sent;
– Leaflets about our services
– A calendar of your own bookings
– A list of our current Outings destinations and dates.
Via our Website
You can find;
– leaflets about our services
– an up to date list of our Outings destinations, which you can download and print
There is also;
– a calendar of all services
– news about LMCTG and transport in general
– links to other pertinent organisations
– other information and even some fun stuff, like our movies!
Much further detail about services can be obtained by contacting our office, or visiting our website.
Services change over time. The following summary is accurate at the time of printing.
– Individual Transport to appointments & events.
– Flexible Transport (limited ‘out of area’, ‘out of hours’ and Accompanied Transport)
– Numerous shopping services for groups and individuals, for grocery or special items (Leichhardt and Marrickville)
– A monthly trip to the Fish Markets
– Twice monthly Outings to various locations
– A monthly Shopping Outing to various shopping centres and outlets (Leichhardt only)
– The Jetstream – a Marrickville wide door to door and fixed stop service, operating weekly
– The TigeRider – a Leichhardt wide door to door and fixed stop service, operating twice weekly
Using the Service – Your Rights and Responsibilities
Naturally, when you use LMCTG services, you have an expectation of how you’ll be treated. Likewise, in providing services to you, a level of cooperation is important to LMCTG, so the services run smoothly, and everyone gets treated fairly and equally. It’s sought of ‘helping us to help you’. The following sections define the expectations both ways. They form part of LMCTG’s policies, and reflect the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Community Care, developed by the Commonwealth Govt. In some instances they reflect the law, such as your privacy rights. They’re important, so please take the time to have a look. If at any time you consider you’re not being treated as per your rights, or if you believe some essential factors have been overlooked, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Leichhardt Community Transport does not discriminate on common grounds of discrimination such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual preference or age.
You can expect from LMCTG:
a) To be treated and accepted as an individual, and to have your individual preferences respected.
b) To be treated with dignity, with your privacy respected.
c) To receive care that is respectful of you, your family and home.
d) To receive care without being obliged to feel grateful to those providing your care.
e) To full and effective use of all your human, legal and consumer rights, including the right to freedom of speech regarding your care.
f) To be treated without exploitation, abuse, discrimination, harassment or neglect.
a) To be involved in identifying the community care most appropriate for your needs.
b) To choose the care and services that best meet your assessed needs, from the community care able to be provided and within the limits of the resources available.
c) To participate in making decisions that affect you.
d) To have your representative participate in decisions relating to your care if you do not have capacity.
3. CARE AND SERVICES
a) To receive reliable, coordinated, safe, quality care and services which are appropriate to your assessed needs.
b) To be given before, or within 14 days after you commence receiving care, a written plan of the care and services that you expect to receive.
c) To receive care and services as described in the plan that take account of your lifestyle, other care arrangements and cultural, linguistic and religious preferences.
d) To ongoing review of the care and services you receive (both periodic and in response to changes in your personal circumstances), and modification of the care and services as required.
4. PERSONAL INFORMATION
a) To privacy and confidentiality of your personal information.
b) To access your personal information.
a) To be helped to understand any information you are given.
b) To be given a copy of the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Community Care.
c) To be offered a written agreement that includes all agreed matters.
d) To choose a person to speak on your behalf for any purpose.
6. COMMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
a) To be given information on how to make comments and complaints about the care and services you receive.
b) To complain about the care and services you receive, without fear of losing the care or being disadvantaged in any other way.
c) To have complaints investigated fairly and confidentially, and to have appropriate steps taken to resolve issues of concern.
You are expected:
a) To respect the rights of LMCTG staff, volunteers, and other passengers to their human, legal and industrial rights, including the right to work in a safe environment. This includes;
– Utilising safety equipment as nominated by staff, including seatbelts.
– Asking staff to carry shopping within reason and limits.
b) To treat LMCTG staff, volunteers, and other passengers without exploitation, abuse, discrimination or harassment.
2. CARE AND SERVICES
a) To abide by the terms of the written agreement. This includes;
– Accepting the conditions and limitations of any service you have chosen.
b) To acknowledge that my needs may change and to negotiate modifications of care and service when my care needs do change.
c) To accept responsibility for my own actions and choices even though some actions and choices may involve an element of risk.
a) To give enough information to assist LMCTG to develop, deliver and review a care plan. This includes;
– Cooperating with staff.
– Communicating with office staff about your needs, transport bookings/arrangements, and any change in your circumstances or health that may affect your transport service.
– Clearly communicating to staff the level of physical assistance you require.
b) To tell LMCTG and their staff about any problems with the care and services.
a) To allow safe and reasonable access for LMCTG staff and volunteers at the times specified in my care plan or otherwise by agreement.
b) To provide reasonable notice if I do not require a service. This includes;
– Providing the earliest possible notice of a cancellation so the project can allocate your transportation to other passengers.
a) To pay any fee as specified in the agreement or negotiate an alternative arrangement with LMCTG if any changes occur in my financial circumstances.
b) To provide enough information for LMCTG to determine an appropriate level of fee.
a) To have your fees determined in a way that is transparent, accessible and fair.
b) To receive invoices that are clear and in a format that is understandable.
c) To have your fees reviewed periodically and on request when there are changes to my financial circumstances.
d) Not to be denied care and services because of your inability to pay a fee for reasons beyond your control.
A Carer is someone who looks after you. They might be a relative, a neighbour, or a friend. It’s important for LMCTG to know if you have a Carer, so we can contact them if necessary, and ensure our services meet your expectations, as well as theirs.
A few important things;
• Your Carer needs to be registered with us, so we have their details. This is a quick and easy process, with just a few questions.
• Carers are most welcome to travel with you, provided they can be picked up at your home, or along the way.
• When travelling with you, Carers travel free.
• Carers are sometimes themselves eligible for services in their own right.
An advocate is a person who, with your authority, represents your interests. You can use an independent advocate of your choice to negotiate on your behalf. This may be a family member, friend or an advocacy service.
If you don’t know of anybody, the office can help find an Advocacy Service for you. A Community Transport staff member can also act on your behalf if you wish. It’s important for us to know that someone has the right to speak on your behalf. If you wish to use a person or a member of staff as an advocate, or would like to change your nominated advocate, then you need to inform us. That’s best done in writing, but if you prefer another method please call the office and we’ll work out a way.
From time to time the office, or a representative of LMCTG, may contact you and conduct a reassessment (at a time suitable to you). A reassessment is simply to check that we hold up to date information about you, and that any pertinent factor is recorded. Like your original assessment, it’s to ensure we have the right info to serve you best. The staff member will also check that services are still meeting your needs, and advise you of any services you don’t know of that may be useful.
Some Service Tips …
Before you book, please ask the receptionist at your destination how long your visit is likely to take. You’ll need that info when you call us.
Flexible Transport destinations are often far from the LMCTG base. In order to determine whether the driver can undertake other work during the time you’re at your destination, we need an estimate of the time you’ll spend at your destination.
All our drivers are committed to a daily schedule, meaning that they are meant to be at a certain location at a specific time, so we can transport as many people as possible each day. Obviously, with transport to appointments, it’s very important for the driver to run to schedule. For that reason, drivers are not permitted to make a detour from their schedule – they may be late for the next pick up. If you know in advance that you need to go to 2 locations, let the office know and we’ll do our best to accommodate that. If your doctor gives you an urgent prescription, please ask the doctor to see if your pharmacy can home deliver the medication. Many do.
I can only get an appointment
Doctors and hospitals can be quite flexible in appointment times when they know you’re using Community Transport. If LMCTG services are booked out for your appointment time, please tell the doctors/hospital receptionist, and ask if the date/time can be changed. If you’re still struggling, our office can help make the appointment on your behalf.
Feedback from passengers is important in ensuring that services are continuing to meet passenger’s needs and for planning appropriate services. Feedback is not limited to making a complaint. You might like to suggest an extension of the service to a new destination, or suggest different hours, or note that you don’t understand an aspect of the service. You can provide feedback to us in any form you like, but it’s preferable to contact the office directly, or write to us – you might prefer email.
Making a Complaint
An important source of feedback is passenger complaints. If we don’t know it’s broken, we can’t fix it!
You are welcome to make a complaint in any manner you like. It’s up to you.
You may want to use an advocate to negotiate on your behalf. You can do so at any stage.
Any complaints made will not effect any service you receive now or request in the future. LMCTG should respond within 14 days.
Suggested Complaints Procedure
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service provided to you and would like to make
a complaint, we suggest you follow these steps.
1. If you feel comfortable about it, raise your complaint with the staff member or passenger concerned in the first place.
2. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of step one, or not comfortable discussing the issue with the person concerned, you should contact the Community Transport Manager.
3. If the issue is still not satisfactorily resolved, you should raise the issue with a member of the Community Transport Management Committee. The office can put you in touch.
4. If after approaching the above people, the issue is still not resolved, you may want to refer the complaint to the body that funds Community Transport in NSW. Phone (02) 8836 3189 or write to:
Transport for NSW
Locked Bag 5085
5. You will be informed of the outcome of your complaint and asked for your feedback on the complaints procedure.
Using the Ombudsman
The NSW Ombudsman’s Office has an excellent online guide about making a complaint, and also an online complaint form. http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/You You can also phone them weekdays, 9am to 5pm, on 9286 1000
Discontinuing a service
LMCTG hopes to provide quality services that meet you needs, and are to the standard outlined in the previous pages. It’s important to know, however, about what should happen if you decide to discontinue using our services, or the circumstances in which LMCTG may discontinue providing service/s to you.
The following is LMCTG policy:
The decision to discontinue a service may be taken by either you or LMCTG. You may decide to discontinue a service because they have had a change in circumstances after which the service may no longer be appropriate or you may have become dissatisfied with the service to the extent that you decide not to use the service further. If you leave a service due to dissatisfaction or because of a dispute, LMCTG should ensure that:
• you are aware of your rights and responsibilities;
• you are reminded of the complaints process;
• you are reminded of your right to an advocate and that you are provided with information on agencies that provide advocacy services;
• staff deal with the situation in a sensitive manner, and that as a result of the dispute fair and reasonable further access to services is not jeopardised LMCTG may withdraw a service for one of the following reasons:
• because the service ceases to operate;
• you are not longer eligible for the service;
• you, in LMCTG’s opinion, no longer requires the service;
• your behaviour has become too difficult for the service to cope with;
• your care needs exceed the capacity of the service to cater for them;
• LMCTG decides that another client should have priority of access to the service in question;
• or concerns about your health or safety, LMCTG staff or other clients.