Rural Transport - Health Care Transport in Scottish Borders

Rural Transport - Health Care Transport in Scottish Borders

Access to transport has been demonstrated to be a major barrier for elderly people in maintaining their independence and coping with health and social challenges of old age. This is particularly acute in the sparsely populated rural areas across the Borders. Within the Borders, there have been limited trials of new ways of providing accessible transport, such as Demand-Responsive Transport, but most provision tends to be the more traditional limited bus service provision.

This project consisted an in-depth review of community needs, including utilisation of existing transport provision and the development and piloting of new models of transport provision. These would be based on both the identified needs of the community and experience from elsewhere. The Project deliverables were recommendations and implementation plans for new models of transport provision across Scottish Borders.

In addition, NHS Borders wanted to reduce spend on non-emergency patient transport by 50% per annum. We identified a variety of efficiency improvements which still maintained acceptable quality of service for the end user. We then went on to work out how to deliver the proposals and worked with both NHS Borders and the transport providers to make the aspirations reality. We engaged with a wide variety of transport providers (Scottish Ambulance Service, other non-emergency ambulance providers, local demand responsive bus services, and the voluntary sector) and worked through the feasibility challenges with them.

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