Information service improves transport options for north-east patients

Stuart Smith 2014, News

An innovative phone service has been helping take the hassle out of medical appointments for north-east patients by providing information on their transport options. The Transport to Healthcare Information Centre (THInC) helps inform people of the most suitable options for getting to and from their healthcare appointments.

The service, a first of its kind in the UK, provides information on public service transport and is a joint initiative between Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Moray Council, NHS Grampian, The Scottish Ambulance Service, Nestrans and HiTrans and links closely with local transport providers.

HTAP Programme Manager, Andrew Stewart said, “The aim of THInC is to help patients plan their travel to appointments but we hope it will also benefit the efficiency of the health service with a reduction in the number of missed appointments. THInC is a great example of partnership working and we hope the service will be well utilised by north-east patients.”

THInC is open to all residents attending appointments at any clinic run by NHS Grampian, as well as the Outpatient Eye Clinic and the Dental School, both at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The information centre can provide details of suitable bus or trains times and contact telephone numbers, alongside other services such as local dial-a-bus services or voluntary car schemes. Callers to THInC will not be able to book ambulance transport via this number.

The project is an initiative that is being taken forward by the partners under the Health and Transport Action Plan (HTAP). The HTAP supports the Regional Transport Partnership and focuses on three key themes which are active travel, transport links to public health and access to health.

To help raise awareness of the service, HTAP have recently commissioned the branding of 70,000 prescription bags that will be used in chemists throughout the north-east.

To use the service please call THInC on 01343 567839 between 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday, calls are charged at a local rate.

Read the full Health and Transport Action Plan (HTAP) here.