Age UK responds to NHS England's announcement of a new national review of NHS and local transport services
By: Age UK
Published on 02 October 2019 06:00 PM
Responding to Simon Stevens’ speech today at the Healthwatch Conference announcing a new national review of NHS and local transport services, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “We’re delighted by NHS England’s commitment to a full review of patient transport services as at Age UK we’ve been calling for this for some time.
“New research for Age UK reveals that people aged 65 and over will make on average 24 medical trips[i] per year, yet more than 1.6 million[ii] over 65s find it difficult to get to and from hospital appointments. For older people, the majority users of the NHS, this news couldn’t come soon enough.
“Through Age UK’s Painful Journeys campaign we raised awareness of the problems older people face such as Peters story, highlighting just how difficult older people’s journeys can be when attending routine hospital appointments for multiple health conditions. Our report highlighted the difficulties and impact that poor and inaccessible patient transport services has on millions of older people when travelling to and from hospital appointments. The problems include long and uncomfortable public transport journeys, a postcode lottery of hospital patient-transport services, patients not being able to travel with a companion and the significant costs for older people and their families if they have to rely on taxis. And, of course, this all translates into problems for the NHS too, such as people arriving late for appointments or failing to arrive at all.
“There are pockets of good practice across the country which we can learn and build on but the reality is that the service needs a thorough overhaul and bringing up to date so this NHS review is exactly what’s needed. We look forward to working with NHS England to ensure the outcomes make a tangible difference to older people’s lives."