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The aim of this needs assessment was to assess available transport and health data to ascertain the non-emergency transport needs of the population. This information has been used to produce a set of recommendations relating to this topic.
The recommendations are evidence-based following this work and act as a guide for transport and health colleagues when working to improve the services that exist, to enhance patient experience and reduce journey duplications and wastage across the County.
Main findings included:
- There is evidence to suggest that needs of the elderly population relating to patient transport are being met, however there is a need to ensure that advertising and awareness of these services reach those who are younger, such as single parents with limiting long term illnesses as an example. This is important in ensuring that these groups of the population are able to reach medical appointments easily and safely.
- Demand for the services is high in those aged over 65, and especially in those aged over 75. This can be seen by user data collected from the HWW survey in 2014. This information also displays how important the users feel the services are in enabling them to reach appointments. Demand may shift towards younger groups also, who need these services if advertising is broadened. Demand clusters around urban and centralised towns, however there is a rural need, especially in North Warwickshire Borough, Stratford-on-Avon District and Rugby Borough.
- Supply of the services is good and many areas of Warwickshire, both rural and urban are served successfully by non-emergency patient transport. Public transport supply is variable and there is more public transport in busier towns as opposed to more rural villages. Therefore if patients are able to travel by public transport, they may still find the opportunities difficult in rural areas. If patients are medically unable to travel in this way, public transport automatically becomes a method of supply that is unfeasible.