To think we are just as entitled to this help as 'older' people?

(359 Posts)
Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:05:41

We have four dcs all with significant health issues. I do not drive and we struggle to get them to the numerous and frequent hospital appts and they also have a lot of illnesses so need to see the gp a lot.

This has meant dh taking far too much time off and when he can't it costs a fortune in taxi fares.

Our gp surgery runs a transport scheme for gp and hosp appts. I phoned today as we really need the help. The woman I spoke to was decidedly off and said the service is really meant for older people, and how had I been getting to appts till now why couldn't I do that. She was very sharp in her manner and quite dismissive. Then she said I had to see the dr to get approved and that they might not and if they do there was no guarantee she would be able to find a driver when I needed one.

I phoned back to make the gp appt and suddenly heard my name in the background- the woman I'd just spoken to was talking about me and dcs to another person and it didn't sound complimentary! The receptionist I was speaking to suddenly realised, put the call on hold then came back on and said , oh I'm really sorry about that.

It has made me feel like rubbish sad

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 10-Jan-14 11:08:36

Id go in and complain, bloody jobsworth

ikeaismylocal Fri 10-Jan-14 11:12:49

It would be nice if you could also use the transport.

Is it ment for older people who have no way of getting to appointments, no friends or family who could take time off and no spare cash at all?

Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:16:36

It just said on the website for those who need help getting to appointments.

It has made me feel really horrible, we are really struggling and can't afford the taxis and dh can't take anymore time off work.

CouthyMow Fri 10-Jan-14 11:16:39

I have the same issue hedgehog it's really difficult to get to the hospital appointments when you have so many appointments and just can't afford The constant taxi fares.I'm A lone parent too. And because I have Epilepsy myself I can't drive.

CouthyMow Fri 10-Jan-14 11:17:08

I would put in a complaint about the receptionist discussing your case in public because it's against data protection too

fledtoscotland Fri 10-Jan-14 11:21:17

Patient transport isn't just for the elderly but for those who wouldn't be able to use public transport due to physical/mental impairment. My understanding is a you aren't eligible if you have a motability car. FIL gets transport as I live 30 miles away and can't always get time off. He finds getting in & out of cars difficult since his stoke and wouldn't be able to walk to the bus stop. We were told that if I took the motability car I would be expected to take him to every appt .
Re the receptionist- yanbu. Complain and speak to the gp

3asAbird Fri 10-Jan-14 11:23:02

Does sound harsh never heard of scheme like that. I have seen a free intresite hospital bus but that only works if you live near a hospital to get it.

My gps is 45min walk or bus then 15min walk.

but thankfully hospital appointments are city centre and next to bus station and im on direct bus route for station.

I have 3kids so last appointment had to take all 3.

Hope you get it sorted.

dont let it bother you doctors receptionsits tend to have little tact and like to say no to lots things an appointment within the next 2weeks you must be joking!

Also does everything have to be done at hospital do they do somethings in community as ds2 has speech therapy next week was thinking would have bus it but its at local clinic.

also anyone local who can look after other kids much easier travelling with 1.

ipswichwitch Fri 10-Jan-14 11:24:20

Hospital transport is not just meant for older people, it is for anyone who has difficulty getting to hospital appointments due to health issues. See the Gp and get it put on record that you can access this service to get your DC's to hospital, and complain about the receptionist.
The way it works at the hospital I work in is you ring the surgery to book transport when you receive the appointment - the transportation people are a separate entity from the surgery so it shouldn't be a matter of the receptionist "finding a driver" iyswim.

elliejjtiny Fri 10-Jan-14 11:24:55

I have similar problems. 4 DC, 2 with additional needs, the other 2 technically NT but only just if that makes sense. DS4 is on high calorie formula milk and the pharmacy won't deliver it because I'm not housebound. But it's really heavy and I can only fit 2 days supply in the buggy basket. Getting to appointments is a nightmare as I have to wait ages for a bus with the wheelchair space and the buggy space free and my DS1 has to push either the buggy or the wheelchair because I can't do both. He's only 7 and it's a lot for him to manage but I've got no choice.

hazeyjane Fri 10-Jan-14 11:26:16

Complain, Hedgehog.

I received patient transport when I was receiving daily chemotherapy over the course of a year, I was in my 30s.

We use a link transport service now, as ds is disabled, we live in a rural area, and I don't drive. They have been a lifesaver for us wrt getting to appointments, hydrotherapy etc. Most of the people that use them are elderly, but they have always provided us with transport.

Ask if you can speak to someone who helps organise the service and explain your situation.

Good luck.

DeWe Fri 10-Jan-14 11:26:21

My grandad set up a volunteer drivers service exactly for that sort of thing. I can't remember what it was called, but he had about a dozen retired drivers who would drive anyone who needed it for free. They had no funding or anything for it.

He set it up in two areas, the area he first retired into, then when he moved area, he set it up there too.
So the person needing a lift would phone him up at home, he'd take down time and to from, consider his list of drivers and phone up whichever one he thought would be best. I don't think they ever turned anyone away.
Can't for the life of me remember what it was called.

After he died, I asked about it, and it had been stopped after the drivers had started finding too much red tape. sad
They were just a bunch of retired people who wanted to do something small to help others. They got a lot of pleasure out of it-and received nothing from it-occasionally a box of chocolates, which they would scrupiously share between them every time.

Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:26:22

We don't have a motability car as I can't drive.

Dh has the car but works over an hour away and its so difficult. We can't get public transport as I have a double buggy and often the older two dcs as well. Getting a taxi is hard as then I have the car seats to carry to and I have a joint problem too.

Its a nightmare. We had taxi cards but the trips ran out (used to be 108 a year due to cutbacks went down to 24). In the next month alone we have five hospital appointments and go to the gp a lot too.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 10-Jan-14 11:27:27

Is there any way you can learn to drive?

Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:28:17

The person I spoke to first was the lady volunteer who started the scheme and co ordinate s it, the receptionist I spoke to after was very nice but quickly realised that as she was speaking to me somebody was bitching about me in the background.

hazeyjane Fri 10-Jan-14 11:28:51

DeWe, your grandad sounds amazingsmile

The service we use is similar. They receive nothing but charitable donations, and the drivers only receive expenses. I have done a fundraiser for them, because the service they provide is so vital, and always make a contribution when we have a lift.

Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:30:32

Nobody local who can help with childcare at all sad

Tried driving lessons twice in the past, once with a ff grant but the money ran out and I was still useless. We don't have the money to do it now especially as we have since end of dec started self funding continuous glucose monitoring at £250 a month for dd2 who has type 1 diabetes. We have no spare money at all that's why taxis were too much for us and why dh needs to be at work as much as he can.

Mamafratelli Fri 10-Jan-14 11:35:26

Call again ask to speak to the practice manager. It won't affect whether or not you get the transport but you need to complain about the woman bitching in the background. Massively unprofessional and uncalled for.

uniross Fri 10-Jan-14 11:37:00

if some one is not capable of getting public transport or a taxi then i think any one who needs help should be able to ask young or old , and i would complain about the receptionist as well .

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 10-Jan-14 11:37:14

I get hospital transport for appointments, both 10 years ago when I had cancer, and again now when I have a secondary.
It is NOT just for old people, I'm in my 50's and some of the telephonists taking the bookings would do anything to wriggle out of it as they expect you to be elderly.
My hospital is 60 miles away and I don't have a car.
Luckily I have a brilliant GP and GP receptionists who fought my corner.
Push it OP, you are entitled, though disclaimer as I'm in Scotland and our service up here may be different assuming you're not.

Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:37:29

I know what will happen, even if we get approved, like she said she can't guarantee she would have someone available when we need a lift. I imagine that will be most of the time as she's taken an instant dislike to me sad I don't even know why.

mysteryfairy Fri 10-Jan-14 11:38:00

Could you try driving again but just in an automatic? Might be easier.

livelablove Fri 10-Jan-14 11:38:54

This sort of thing annoyed me recently. I had called dr as I had hurt my back so badly I could not get out of bed. At the time I did not request a home visit, just a phone call, but the dr called and straight away said they don't normally come out to people of my age. Well why should age make a difference? Surely it is how ill you are, and whether you can get to the surgery. My problem was I could not get up. A very elderly and quite ill person probably could get to the surgery with help. So they should not base these services on age at all, but on need.

Morgause Fri 10-Jan-14 11:41:12

I think there might be a problem if you expect the volunteer to carry all of you in the car. The insurance may not cover the other DCs.

My father was a volunteer driver and he could only take the patient and an escort.

Hedgehog80 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:42:35

Can't do driving lessons as have absolutely no spare money whatsoever.

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