Summary of report content
At the public meeting in Saltford in July 2018, Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset heard that access to non-emergency patient transport services was becoming more difficult for local residents, with some reports that people had been denied transport to hospital appointments despite having used the service before. Prior to the meeting, Healthwatch had received five phone calls from local residents stating similar experiences. After the meeting, Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset had a meeting with the provider, Arriva Transport Solutions, and held a public meeting on 27 February 2019.
At the public meeting the following issues were raised:
- Whilst there was positive feedback about the provider, some people who should have been eligible for the service who were turned down
- People felt the telephone operators appeared to be reading from a script and lacked empathy
- If people said they could get into a car, they were denied access to non-emergency patient transport irrespective of whether they have access to family or friends or taxis to get to hospital appointments.
- Care home and independent living staff are no longer able to take residents to medical appointments
- There is no funding for community transport to support people to attend primary care appointments
- The parking system at the local hospital was unclear, leading to some people receiving parking penalty notices