Published: 06/12/2001, Volume III, No. 5784 Page 8

Change is needed in non-emergency patient transport services, which are 'strongly finance-driven rather than patient-focused'even though users include some of the most vulnerable and deprived people in society, the Audit Commission says. Many patients felt that their journey to hospital 'seriously undermined' their overall experience, researchers found. The report also says that people were likely to be confused by 'complex and fragmented arrangements' for their transport, while in some places people were charged for services provided free elsewhere on the grounds that it was 'social'and not 'medical' provision.

Going Places: taking people to and from education, social services and healthcare . Audit Commission Publications. 0800-502030.£20.