Transport to Health Services, Devon

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Summary of report content

In 2014, Healthwatch Devon conducted a survey to further explore and clarify peoples experience of transport services across Devon. A survey was developed and launched on the 1st May 2014, it was available online and in hard copy formats. People could also complete the survey over the telephone. Devon Link-Up facilitated focus group sessions to enable people with learning disabilities to take part, and the Devon Disability Network encouraged participation from people with physical and sensory disabilities. The key findings from the 230 responses were: *One in five people said the transport they use is either not convenient, or prompt or affordable. *Nearly two thirds of respondents did not know it was possible to get help with travel costs, or did not know how to make a claim. *Patient Transport Service drivers are widely praised for goodwill and courtesy. The Single Point of Contact (SPOC) scheme is seen as a model of good practice. But punctuality is a problem, and one provider in particular has been the cause of numerous complaints. *Bus services feature long journeys, complicated timetables and lack of connections. Early morning appointments are difficult to get to by bus, journeys are long, and evening appointments are hard to get home from. People with bus passes may not be able to use them on early buses. *Travelling distance matters. The further away a service, the harder it is to get there if you are reliant on public transport, and the harder it is for friends and relatives to visit or offer practical support. *Parking is difficult for some car drivers, with inadequacy of spaces, and long walking distances from car park to building. But the Park and Ride scheme for the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital was praised for convenience and accessibility. *Cost is a concern - particularly when bus users have to go by taxi instead. The possibility, in some cases, to reclaim travel costs, is not well known. Recommendations were made to commissioners, providers, the Devon Health and Wellbeing Board and the Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee. No response has been included within this report.

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General details

Report title 
Transport to Health Services, Devon
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Devon
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 October, 2014
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 26 May, 2014
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Car parking access
Car parking charges
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Cost of services
Devolution of services
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of patient transport
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Community services 
Other services 
Patient transport
Non-emergency ambulance service

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not known
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.