Thursday, 24 January 2008

Patient Transport Services

The Department of Health has recently updated the guidance for eligibility criteria for patient transport services.

Over the past few months several individuals have contacted me with concerns about proposals to withdraw or charge for PTS for people receiving maintenance haemodialysis. In response a reference to frequency of travel as one of the eligibility criteria that was not included in the guidance published by the Department of Health in Summer 2007 has now been inserted (see page 7 para 7).

David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS, England emphasised the importance of this revision by including it in his regular update to NHS CEOs underlining that the frequency of travel is important and must be considered when assessing a patients’ medical need for transportation.

Clearly, people receiving regular maintenance haemodialysis are a unique group and I trust that this guidance will ensure that they continue to receive appropriate transport services.

Transport for haemodialysis will be the focus of one of the Healthcare Commission national renal audits due to commence later this year.