How easy is it to get to your doctor’s appointment?

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Healthwatch Lancashire has published a report summarising responses to a survey from people in Lancashire about transport to primary healthcare services.

A “Your Care and Getting There” report has been published by Healthwatch Lancashire based on the findings from a survey undertaken by 742 residents of Lancashire to identify issues relating to how they get to appointments in primary care services which include GPs, dentists, health centres and pharmacies.

The report shows that across Lancashire 88% of people said that they find getting to their appointment convenient while 15.6% of people said that they have had to cancel appointments due to transport issues. 24.9% of people who do not travel to their appointments by car said that they were concerned for the cost of transport with Chorley (32.4%), Burnley (28.6%) and Lancaster (28.2%) receiving the highest percentages of people who are concerned about the cost of getting to appointments.

The survey aimed to find out how people travel to appointments and gather details on convenience, cost and how this affects their experience.

Responses to the survey were gathered by Healthwatch Lancashire in a variety of locations across Lancashire including at public events, in GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies and through community group workshops.

Members of the public using community transport services were also given the opportunity to have their say when members of the Healthwatch Lancashire team listened to their views while joining them on the journey to their appointments.

The report shows that 56% of people who used community transport said that they had an issue with timing and 37% of people did not describe their experience as positive.

57% of people who were given lifts to their appointment by friends or family said that they are concerned about inconveniencing those who gave them a lift.

The main themes of concern from those who travel to appointments by car are cost of petrol, traffic problems and parking.

Healthwatch Lancashire Communications Manager Neil Greaves commented: “Healthwatch Lancashire would like to thank the people who shared their views and experiences about getting to their appointments along with our dedicated volunteers who made a significant contribution to the project.”