'Bring back free buses between Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals' - you can sign petition here
Calls are being made to bring back a free bus service between Scarborough Hospital and Bridlington Hospital.
Bridlington mayor Cllr Liam Dealtry has launched an online petition demanding the shuttle bus be reinstated in the wake of what he says is an increase in services being moved from Bridlington Hospital to Scarborough.
Cllr Dealtry is urging York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to fund the service.
“If the trust aren't going to restore our services, the least they can do is give us a bus,” he said.
“The NHS Trust has the income from the Government from general taxation and our national insurance contributions to cover this. It also has income from the hospital car parking fees.”
He said some people are facing a £20 taxi fare or a long, non-direct bus journey to get to Scarborough Hospital for appointments or visits.
A spokesperson for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is not funded to provide transport services for patients.
“There is a long history to the shuttle bus, which was first launched in 2008. Along with local clinical commissioning groups and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, we have previously trialled and failed to maintain the service as the number of passengers using the bus did not make it financially viable.
“We appreciate that, for some patients, travelling to hospital for appointments can be difficult. Although there are regular commercial bus and train services between Scarborough and Bridlington that people can utilise, we recognise these might not be suitable for everyone.
“Some patients are eligible for ambulance transport, and for those who are not there are several organisations locally that provide transport support.
“Patients and visitors can find more information about local travel options on our website www.york.nhs.uk/travel.
"Some patients may also be able to claim a refund for the cost of their transport to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.”
Cllr Dealtry’s petition can be found HERETracey Craggs, Director of Integrated Commissioning and Transformation, East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We do understand the difficulties that access to appropriate transport can cause due to East Riding of Yorkshire’s large rural area.
"Our focus has to be on ensuring we continue to provide essential health care services which are safe and sustainable however, we do take seriously our responsibilities to provide NHS transport to those who need it.
“Non-emergency patient transport is available for eligible patients to help them attend consultations, treatment or procedures provided within a hospital or community setting. For people who are not eligible for patient transport but who need help to pay for travel to appointments, financial assistance may be available through the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme.
“We are aware that, in addition to public transport, there are a range of local community transport providers available to help address specific transport needs, for example travelling to hospitals or shopping facilities.
"We are working closely with our partners in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors with a view to addressing long-standing issues resulting from the rural nature of the county with initial focus centred on Beverley, Bridlington, Goole and Withernsea.
“More information about current NHS and community transport options is available online at www.eastridingofyorkshireccg.nhs.uk (search for patient transport)."