A new patient transport service is so successful it has been rolled out to GP practices in the Sedgefield area.

From 1st October Durham County Council’s Travel Response Centre will arrange hospital transport for patients registered with GP practices in Newton Aycliffe.

Patients can now contact the centre on 0191 383 5383 to be assessed for their eligibility. If eligible, the centre will book transport as necessary.

Patients are eligible if they cannot walk without continual support, are unable to use public transport or require oxygen or other medical gases in transit. The centre is open Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5pm and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

For those patients who aren’t eligible for the service, the centre will advise them on alternative methods of transport, which may incur a charge. This could include a volunteer driver scheme, the Council’s LINK 2 Service, public transport or taxi services. Those who have difficulties paying their fares will be given information on the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.

The PCT and CCG recognise the importance of accessibility and the role it has in health inequalities. Working with Durham County Council, they have created a service that should go some way to addressing these issues.