Demand soars for patient transport service

North Norfolk Community Transport Chief Executive Matt Townsend with some of the vehicles that are u

North Norfolk Community Transport Chief Executive Matt Townsend with some of the vehicles that are used to provide community transport across North Norfolk after increased demand for the service.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A record number of patients are relying on a voluntary bus service to reach vital medical appointments.

North Norfolk Community Transport revealed its MediRide service made around 2000 trips in 2015 - an increase of 200 on the year before.

Around half of all journeys provided by the service were to transport patients in the area to Norwich and Norfolk Hospital, while it also made trips to local GP appointments as well as hospitals in Cromer and Cambridge.

However, the service receives no funding from the NHS and is reliant on donations and volunteers. MediRide uses volunteers in their own cars and every patient who uses the service is asked for a donation.

Matt Townsend, Chief Executive of NNCT, said: 'This service really is a lifeline to so many people. Also, every time a patient misses their appointment it costs the NHS around £160 so we are saving the NHS many thousands of pounds in ensuring people can access hospitals.'


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