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MP urges Government to conduct national review of hospital transport services

January 16, 2018 2:31 PM

Tim with Age UKSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the Government to conduct an urgent review of transport services for the elderly.

In a letter to the health minister Steve Brine, who is in charge of non-emergency transport, Tim called for an urgent review of both hospital-provided patient transport, community and public transport so that every hospital journey for an older person:

  • Is comfortable
  • Is affordable (for them and their families)
  • Retains their dignity
  • Gets them to and from hospital in a reasonable time

Tim is supporting Age UK's 'Painful Journeys' campaign which highlights the struggles of older people travelling to hospital appointments.

Last month, Tim tabled a motion in Parliament to show support for the campaign.

Age UK in South Lakeland currently run a Home from Hospital service to help those who are at the point of discharge and may need some extra help when they get home and for a few weeks after.

Penny Pullinger, Chief Executive of Age UK South Lakeland, said: "Age UK South Lakeland are pleased to be supporting the Age UK campaign calling on the Government to review hospital transport services.

"We are particular keen to provide evidence highlighting the additional challenges facing older people living in rural communities and if anyone has had a difficult journey recently we would like to hear about it."

Tim said: "In the South Lakes where the number of people over the age of 60 is 10% higher than the national average, we know all too well the struggle that older people face when it comes to travelling to hospital.

"The current system for transporting people to hospitals, which is pretty much a postcode lottery at the severe detriment of the elderly in our area, is simply not fit for purpose.

"The Home from Hospital service that Age UK runs is a really great initiative which gives older people the support they need after they've left hospital.

"However, this service should be standard practice not just something that has to be provided by a voluntary organisation."