This report examines the experiences of service users and their families/carers who took up the offer of help with transport costs from Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BWC).

17/07/2023
By Healthwatch Birmingham
2023 Investigations

The survey of 519 people who have used free transport support since the scheme was established by Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC) in January 2022 found that:

  • 86% rated it as ‘excellent’ overall
  • 86% felt the transport support offer was clearly explained
  • 81% agreed that they were involved in deciding on the transport required
  • 87% said their needs were met
  • 64% said the free transport offer made their journey more affordable

Free bus, train and parking tickets or taxis reduced stress and anxiety around the costs of travel for those on low incomes and/or who attend frequent appointments in particular. Although a few participants had experienced problems such as delays to ticket delivery or issues around communication, the majority highly valued the scheme, were keen for it to continue and would like more people to be made aware of it.


Transport support for outpatient appointments at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Download File (pdf 14.00 MB)

'We are very grateful to Healthwatch Birmingham, who carried out this in-depth study. Whilst we knew that patients and families appreciated the support, we needed to know how it could be most effective and which methods of giving support were particularly helpful. Our future work includes working to increase awareness of the national Hospital Travel Costs Scheme and working with the local bus and train companies to make travel cheaper and easier to our hospitals. This report will help us to target any future funding, where we are able to offer further transport related subsidies.' - Mark Hillier, Senior Patient Experience Manager, BWC

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