Transport to medical appointments

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Tameside carried out a survey to find out about people’s experiences of using patient transport to get to medical appointments during the pandemic.

  • They found that getting to medical appointments can be an issue for some people.
  • Many older people are asking family and friends to give them a lift to appointments. This can mean family having to take time out of work.
  • This same group of people are also the highest users of taxis. Some say they find public transport too difficult, others that there isn’t a bus service they can use. Many complained about the cost.
  • They were told in one response that a patient was not eligible for non-emergency Patient Transport (provided by North West Ambulance Service), because they have a family member who can provide transport, even though this means that person taking time out of work.
  • People told them that they were not aware of services such as Miles of Smiles.

Healthwatch made a recommendation for doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc. to consider travel arrangements when appointments are being made, especially if the patient is unable to drive themselves. They must think about whether patients are aware of all the options available and if they are eligible for a service that they may not be aware of.

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General details

Report title 
Transport to medical appointments
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tameside
Date of publication 
Friday, 17 December, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 31 July, 2021
Key themes 
Information providing
Quality of patient transport

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Other services 
Patient transport

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Sexual orientation 
Prefer not to say
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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.