You might have read in the local press that changes to the eligibility criteria for people using the non-emergency patient transport service have been introduced. This follows a three month consultation carried out this summer by OCCG to review the criteria. This was against a backdrop of rising demand for health services, and a significant increase in demand for these journeys over the past four years.
The aim of the consultation was to ensure best use of NHS resources, whilst ensuring that non-emergency patient transport could continue to be provided for the most vulnerable patients in the future. People who use the service still need to be registered at a GP practice in Oxfordshire as before.
Diane Hedges, Interim Director for Delivery and Localities at OCCG, said: ‘We sought and listened to the views of hundreds of people in Oxfordshire and to a broad range of voluntary and statutory organisations about our plans for non-emergency patient transport.
‘I would like to thank everyone who gave their views on this issue. With a rising demand for NHS services and resources needing to go further to pay for this, we have to make sure the patient transport service meets the essential needs of patients and supports the most vulnerable. The changes we agreed to the eligibility criteria will help us cope with these challenges facing the NHS while still helping those patients who require the service.’
The new criteria for all new and existing patients came in to effect from 1 November 2014 and you can read them here