NHS-funded transport for renal dialysis


The NHS across Hampshire provides a Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) for people who are, for health reasons, physically unable to make their own way to appointments.

In the areas served by NHS Portsmouth CCG, NHS Fareham and Gosport CCG, and NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG, publicly-funded patient transport services are already being reviewed – and now the intention is to include transport services for patients receiving renal dialysis in that review.

The latest contract for patient transport was awarded in October 2014 but since that time it is clear that levels of demand are much higher than expected.

An analysis shows that about 40% of all local NHS-funded non-emergency transport is being given to people who, with little or no support, can actually walk to a car, or a clinic – referred to as ‘car walkers’.

Across Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, and South Eastern Hampshire that means that more than £1m is being spent on transport for people who do not have a physical requirement for such support.

Of that £1m, more than half – almost £540,000 – is spent providing transport to renal dialysis patients who are classed as ‘car walkers’.

Given this level of spending, the NHS must examine how this money is being used. NHS-funded transport is only intended for those people whose health condition means they need additional support to travel (the specific criteria are set nationally, by the Department of Health). However, the local NHS has allowed the situation to develop where these services are being widely used by people who could make their own way to appointments.

It is essential that NHS transport services are protected for those in greatest need – that is not currently the case.

The three CCGs which commission NHS care across Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, and South Eastern Hampshire are now seeking the views of patients receiving renal dialysis, to hear what they say about the transport services as they work now, and their views on how services could work in future.

CCG staff will be spending time at the local dialysis clinics, speaking with patients face-to-face, but there is also an online survey to ensure that as many people as possible can submit their views. All views can then be considered before any decisions are made.

To access the survey, just go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NHSrenaltransport. Many thanks for your time – all responses will be considered before any decisions are made.