Policy Statements - PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICES

Passed by the NKF 16th January 2010

The Renal National service Frame work highlights the importance of good transport for all dialysis patients and suggests that it plays a vital role in the formation of patient views and attitudes towards dialysis. It acknowledges it is important that they are picked up quickly and transported efficiently to their dialysis destination.

The National Kidney Federation believes transport for dialysis patients is as fundamental a part of their care as the clinical service they receive. After dialysis patients can feel tired and unwell, this coupled with other co morbidities, result in the majority of patients being unable or unsafe to drive themselves and thus reliant upon patient transport services.

The NKF believes all dialysis patients should be eligible for Patient Transport Services with the cost of transport explicitly included as part of the costing for their dialysis treatment. Like other NHS treatment it should then be free at the point of use. There should be no direct charge to a dialysis patient for patient transport services.

Eligibility criteria for transport should be made explicit to include the special reliance of dialysis patients on transport in order to receive life saving treatment. This inclusion would reinforce that there should be no direct charge to dialysis patients for their transport requirements to receive that life saving treatment.

It is acknowledged that some dialysis patients would prefer not be reliant upon Patient Transport Services. As a result of this we are in support of the National Learning Set recommendations that by reimbursing costs of the patients own transport, providing free and accessible parking and by facilitating choice then those patients as appropriate would make their own travel arrangements and reliance on commissioned transport services would be reduced.