Linking individual transport information with healthcare appointments
Personalised transport timetables and booking information can be linked to healthcare appointments, providing a better public transport service for patients and reducing the number of appointments not attended.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Prior to measure implementation, health-related transport was provided by the health sector, social services and the voluntary sector, all operating independently. Information regarding these services, and the conventional public transport services, tended to be fragmented, and members of the public were unaware of the available transport options and had problems accessing information. When patients are sent appointment letters, the transport information provided is general, irrespective of the time of travel and the specific journey they need to undertake to get to the hospital from their home.
The specific objectives were to:
- increase the number of public transport users for accessing healthcare, particularly from rural areas;
- provide healthcare users with comprehensive timetable and booking information for transport services linked to healthcare appointments;
- reduce the number of healthcare appointments not attended; and
- achieve an integrated and coordinated approach to providing transport information for accessing healthcare appointments.
Following confirmation that the hospital was unable to participate in the measure due to financial constraints, efforts were made to find an alternative solution. Efforts to improve public transport information at the hospital were discussed with the county council and new posters and leaflets were designed and a radio campaign launched in December 2008. Other stakeholders were sought but were not able to commit to developing the project.
The measure was not implemented as intended. One important finding was that many organisations, both public and private, have difficulties allocating funding and resources to experimental initiatives.