Understanding the impact of proposed changes on transport and travel

Understanding the impact of proposed changes on transport and travel

This short animation explains how travel and transport are considered in proposed changes to the location of services.

The animation was developed in response to the feedback received from patients, communities and colleagues in health and care services

When NHS Boards and Integrated Joint Boards consider making changes to where services are provided, people often have concerns about how this will impact their travel to those sites.

Transport and travel impacts people in different ways. People living in towns and cities will have different concerns from those in remote, rural and island communities.

How will the patient or visitors get to hospital or the care facility?
What public transport is available and when?
How long will it take to travel, and how much will it cost?
What is the parking like for patients and visitors?
How will staff travel to and from work?

Depending on the scale of change, if an NHS Board or Integrated Joint Board proposes changes to where services are delivered from, this should be considered in their equality impact assessment. An equality impact assessment helps public bodies to fully understand the effect of policies or decisions on the diverse communities they serve.

A transport analysis helps to consider all the relevant issues, including:

  • information about how people currently travel to services
  • the process for claiming travel expenses. This may be means-tested
  • volunteer driver services
  • different types of public transport, their frequency and journey times
  • car parking availability for patients, visitors and staff

The Scottish Ambulance Service may provide patient transport for patients who need support due to their medical or clinical needs.

NHS Boards and Integrated Joint Boards should be clear about how their proposals may affect different parts of the patient experience. For example, specialist inpatient care may be delivered at a central site while ongoing outpatient clinics are delivered locally.

It may be helpful to set up a Transport and Access group, bringing people and communities together to discuss challenges and possible solutions, and including transport providers if appropriate.

Keep in mind national development and policies that may affect transport, such as:

  • Scotland’s National Transport Strategy
  • Developments in how people are accessing care and support remotely, for example Near Me and Virtual Visiting
  • Steps by the Scottish Government to end all hospital parking charges.

We have lots more resources on our website to help you understand how changes to services might impact on people and communities.

Last Updated: 6 September 2022