Access to hospitals is ‘harder than ever’
PATIENTS in Bucks are finding it more difficult than ever to access hospital services, an independent consumer group says.
Healthwatch Bucks carried out a report into travel and transport to medical appointments in the county, and spoke to 416 people about their experiences of travelling to the appointments.
The report’s main findings revealed:
About 80 per cent of people had not heard of any of the transport options and schemes that are available;
Parking was a major issue. Some respondents arrived up to an hour before their appointments just to ensure they could find a parking space;
Over a quarter of people with no access to a car had a problem with getting to appointments when relying on public transport, in particular bus services;
Those living in rural and urban communities need further help, more/ better publicised transport options.
To ensure as many patients as possible had their voices heard, Healthwatch Bucks commissioned Community Impact Bucks to undertake community engagement sessions.
Many respondents had issues with the lack of parking spaces and high parking charges at Wycombe, Stoke Mandeville, Amersham and Wexham Park hospitals.
Project manager Victoria Young, said: “It appears that people in Bucks are finding it more difficult than ever before to access hospital services. For many residents in Bucks the stress, anxiety and cost associated with getting to their appointments has become a major issue.”
Chesham councillor Derek Lacey regularly has medical appointments and supported the report’s findings. He said: “I totally agree. Parking at hospitals is getting ridiculous, even the disabled have to pay, they’re charging everyone and it’s not like it goes back on the patients. I think it’s disgusting that you have to pay to be ill.
“The bus services are diabolical, especially if you want to get to Stoke Mandeville from Chesham, it’s terrible.
“Bucks County Council should be looking at this – enough people have been complaining about it for years now.”
To read the full report, visit www.healthwatch bucks.co.uk.
Do you find it difficult to get to your medical appointments? Email bucksnews@trinitysouth. co.uk with your views.