The overall aim of the report was to improve communication about transport options to enhance patient experience and increase awareness. Patient voices from the research have really been leading the way in initiating conversations with major providers and other organisations.
Community Impact Bucks have found the information on patient’s knowledge of transport options helpful in implementing their own advancements in how and where they advertise the Community Transport Hub. We found that around 80% of people had not heard of any transport options or schemes that are available. The Community Transport Hub now has plans to be advertised on TV monitors in GPs waiting rooms and libraries across the county. Additionally, we called for a review of community car schemes and the issues surrounding them. Community Impact Bucks will now be undertaking this very important review.
Transport for Bucks and Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust fully support our report in using the patient experience to shape services. We have been talking with Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust and PALS about ways of ensuring that all transport options, schemes and help with costs can be made known to patients on receipt of appointment. In particular, appointment letters need to have clear and consistent information regarding transport options and how to change appointment times, as these were two issues that came up frequently for patients we spoke to.
Parking came up as a major issue. Developments in car parks have been underway, a new car park is now open at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Wexham Park Hospital has been granted permission for more parking spaces. Providing accessible parking bays and free parking to blue badge holders is a priority of Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust who have recently been given the Disabled Parking Award. However there are still some issues at Stoke Mandeville Hospital around parking processes, in particular for blue badge holders and community car/transport vehicles, which we are communicating to the trust in efforts to improve the situation.
Once remaining matters have been clarified we hope patient experience continues to improve. By representing the patient voice, Healthwatch Bucks hopes to be of great help in shaping changes made to transport to and from hospital by providers.