Community Transport and Health: A Call to Action

James Coe Banner

In our latest blog James talks about the role of community transport and health.  In this post he explores how community transport supports health services, and issues a call to action to CTA members to tell us about the work your organisations do supporting health services.

Community transport plays a vital role in supporting health services.  From our members in Northern Ireland who provide hospital transport, our members in London who provided an integrated health service, to numerous others who provided trips to doctors, social care facilities, hospitals and a range of other health services.

Community transport providers are often people mode of preferred transport as they offer a personalised service and an important social occasion that contributes to an individual’s overall health.

On a larger scale community transport saves the public purse significant amounts of money.   ECT’s report, Why Community Transport Matters, estimates that through alleviating social isolation community transport saves the public purse, £0.4bn to £1.1bn per year.  As the number of the UK’s population of elderly people increases, the demand on these services will only continue to grow.

Exploring the role of community transport within health, we are currently investigating the potential of a Total Transport approach to commissioning health services.  This is where non-emergency patient transport is commissioned at a local level to support integration, rationalisation of services, and a more logical demand management.  We believe this can save the public purse money and provide a better service for health care patients.

In particular, we hear stories time and time again of community transport supporting healthcare providers where demand for transport outstrips the provider’s capacity.  Community transport works to get people to where they need to be, and it does so particularly where individuals are ill and at their most vulnerable.

We want to celebrate this work.  If you have a story of how you have worked with your local health provider to provide patient transport, particularly due to issue of demand, we want to hear from you.

If you have a story to share you can contact me at James@ctauk.org

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