Research conducted by a group of local transport authorities, the Community Transport Association and the Urban Transport Group has shown that the NHS loses £750m annually because of missed hospital appointments – 37% (£277.5m) of which is because of patient transport!
5.6m hospital appointments are missed each year, and it’s been estimated that solving just 10% of the problem could save £74.5m. It’s believed this 10% is caused by slow transport options, so the patient does attempt to make the appointment, but can’t make it on time.
The research recommends that a ‘Total Transport’ approach is taken, which pools budgets for all NEPT (Non-Emergency Patient Transport) provision and uses fleets that can span healthcare, social services, and mainstream public transport.
Dr Jon Lamonte, chief executive of TfGM, who leads for the Urban Transport Group on transport and health, said: “With a growing base of evidence and experience to draw upon and at a time when public funding is particularly tight, Total Transport is an opportunity that needs to be embraced at the highest levels of government, the NHS and local authorities. We stand ready to work with our colleagues in the health sector to realise the opportunities to provide better access to healthcare at less cost to the taxpayer.”
Liftshare works with NHS trusts across the UK to make sure both staff and patients can get to hospitals, clinics and other facilities on-time and sustainably.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde introduced sharing for staff at the opening of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in 2015, and since has seen over 1,500 staff members sign up to liftshare to and from work.
NHS Borders has introduced dedicated parking bays for car sharers, prioritising those in high-occupancy vehicles and allowing them to park closer to the site.
If you work in health and would like Liftshare’s help to make sure staff and/or patients can get to and from appointments easily and on-time, get in touch with our Business Team to discuss options available to you!
Author Lex Barber