For many in rural areas with a central hospital site for secondary care the clinic times and lack of public transport make it near impossible to attend for those that dont/cant drive. Clinic and appointment timing should take into account the travel. Current set up means some people feel they have no option than to persevere with ongoing health issues due to lack of access! Alternative is to have increased visiting specialist clinics in the rural areas but this may be harder to do with current nhs resources limitdd in many specialities.
I live in an area which has the longest road distance to get it it’s next nearest acute hospital. Some appointments are made for this hospital which could be done closer to home,but still remains the theory it’s better to inconvenience a number of patients,some elderly,Ill for various other reasons or unable to drive. I wish appointments closer to home would be considered as many people don’t get the care they need cause they can’t cope with the distance to get to it
many patients in rural communities are unable to attend an appointment in city hospitals due to poor transport links and the requirement for support to utilise this. Families are unable to support hospital appointments due to the increased demands for them to work and with them living further away from their loved ones. there is also the problem with the increase in fuel prices, expecting people to travel 100 mile round trip for an appointment is unacceptable, the alternative of video calling or telephone is also not appropriate in many cases for people with mental health issues. this issue needs to be focused on.
Qualitative research carried out by UHI suggests that inappropriate appointment scheduling can have a substantial negative impact on patient anxiety and engagement with services.
Particularly relevant to patients travelling in from the isles relying on ferry transport.
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