Friday, 16 November 2018

Survey on Patient Transport reveals poor and unfair assessment process for Disabled and older people

Quote from Royal Free Hospital patient: Desperate, Anxious, humiliated - the questioning was aggressive. We need fairer Patient Transport eligibility criteria, that does not exclude Disabled and older people who desperately need it! Transport for All #PatientTransportforus
Survey on Patient Transport reveals poor and unfair assessment process for Disabled and older people
Dear Alan,
Over the past several months, Transport for All (TfA) have received an increasing number of calls to our Advice Line from Disabled and older people who were denied patient transport despite previously being eligible.

In August 2018 we carried out a survey to find out more about peoples’ experiences of trying to access patient transport services. Through this we have gathered a number of case studies that demonstrate how unfair patient transport eligibility criteria affected peoples’ lives and mental and physical wellbeing.

The majority of those found ineligible felt that their health or personal safety was put at risk by having to make their own way to hospital. For some it was impossible to make their own way to their appointments, leading to cancelled or missed appointments.

  • “A two and a half hour journey (each way), vomiting due to my chronic condition, exhaustion, increased anxiety” – Royal Free Hospital patient
  • “I fall often when in unfamiliar environments. I also suffer from a choking disorder and confusion especially when under stress... For me the journey to the hospital is a huge undertaking and a very frightening prospect” – Chase Farm Hospital patient
  • “I cancelled all of my hospital appointments as no one seems to care” – Homerton University Hospital patient
Our demands:
We believe that everyone with a legitimate medical need should have access to patient transport services.
Clearly this is not happening in every case at the moment.
We are therefore demanding that the Department of Health and Social Care update and improve their guidance on patient transport eligibility criteria so that it doesn’t put Disabled and older patients’ health at risk. It is clear that the current guidance is not good enough.
We are also calling for hospitals and NHS Trusts to make immediate changes to the way that they assess people for transport.
Click here to read our article and find out more about our demands
Get involved in the campaign
We need your support to spread the word about our concerns about eligibility for patient transport and there is lots you can do to help:
  • Tell us your story: We want to hear about your experiences accessing patient transport services. Please send them to
  • Challenge your case: If you have recently been denied patient transport, especially if you were previously eligible, contact our Advice Line for help and support to appeal the decision
  • Use the hashtag #PatientTransportForUs on Twitter to spread the message
  • Become a member of Transport for All or donate today.

Best wishes,

Josh Lang
Campaigns and Outreach Officer

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