There and back – what people tell us about their experiences of travelling to and from NHS services

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Find out what’s working well for people and what needs to improve when it comes to people’s experiences of travelling to and from NHS appointments, in a Healthwatch England new brefing.

Summary

Between March and May this year, the Healthwatch network carried out a nationwide conversation asking communities how they want the NHS to improve locally, engaging with over 30,000 people across the country.

HW England found that travel was a key issue, with nine out of every ten people telling them that convenient ways of getting to and from health services as either important or very important.

In two thirds of the country, communities told HW England they wanted more focus in local plans on improving the links between transport and health and care services.

This briefing highlights what the public are saying about issues they face when it comes to travelling to and from NHS services, including issues with public transport, parking and Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services.

It also shows what HW England found when they wrote to all 191 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and asked them for data on how many people were using Non-Emergency Transport Services and how many people had been refused help between 2015/16 and 2018/19.

In partnership with Age UK and Kidney Care UK, HW England have been working with the NHS to take action. This briefing highlights the collective evidence in their call for change.

NHS England has announced they will carry out a national review. HW England look forward to working with them on this to ensure that people’s views and experiences inform their plans, from better commissioning of NHS patient transport services to working more closely with transport authorities and providers to ensure the NHS is connected in practical and affordable ways with the wider world.

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Healthwatch England 2nd Oct 2019