The future of travel to healthcare

International evidence shows that patients are far more likely to have a better outcome if they are taken directly to a hospital which provides the specialist care they need.  In Dorset, every year thousands of patients are taken by ambulance to a hospital that is further away than their nearest one.

The important thing for patients is that they get the right care at the right time and at the right site. Royal Bournemouth Hospital already takes the county’s referrals for stroke care, cardiology and vascular surgery, with Poole taking referrals for trauma, paediatrics and obstetrics. At present, a lot of patients have to travel between the two sites to get appropriate care. By establishing one major emergency hospital that internal hospital transport should be reduced.

“I’ve looked closely at how these plans might affect ambulance services in Dorset and how they might affect patients and I’m confident that the plans will improve emergency care by allowing the ambulance service to take patients safely and quickly to the best hospital where they will receive the best care. We will also reduce transfers of patients between hospitals, instead they should go to the right hospital from the start.”

Adrian South, Clinical Director, South West Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust

Your travel questions answered

Adrian South, Clinical Director of South West Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust (SWAST) answers some of your questions about how the upcoming changes will make a difference to travel times and methods.

Dorset County Council Report

As part of our process we asked Dorset County Council to produce a report covering travel to healthcare under the changes.

The Dorset County Council Transport Review Report (PDF) is available online.