West Norfolk transport charity launches same-day appointment programme

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A new same-day transport scheme will be launched next month to help more patients in West Norfolk get to medical appointments.

The initiative, which is being run by West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT), is being funded through a £5,000 grant from the borough’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The group currently provides travel for people who are unable to access other forms of transport such as those with impaired mobility, young people, the elderly and the rurally isolated.

But, previously, people who used WNCT services had to pre-book travel for non-emergency medical appointments.

The group has said that patients will still be encouraged to book in advance wherever they can.

However, under the new programme, which is due to begin in November, officials say they will try to provide as many same-day requests as possible, whether made by individual patients or medical practices.

WNCT manager Richard Pengelly said: “This new service will be so much more beneficial and convenient to hundreds of patients across King’s Lynn.

“Currently, we can only take patients to medical appointments on one of our dial-a-ride buses, which have to be booked well in advance.

“This can cause difficulty for some patients, who are offered appointments without much warning, those who have left it too late to book or those whose appointments have been rearranged and have no transport for the new date.

“Now, the stress and worry will be taken away from those worrying about how they are going to get to their appointments as they can simply just contact us on the day they need us.”

The CCG’s chief officer, Dr Sue Crossman, has also welcomed the move.

She said: Patients often tell us that access to affordable and convenient transport is key to their health and wellbeing, particularly for those who struggle to get to medical appointments.

“We are therefore happy to support this new service which will be more convenient and responsive for patients in the King’s Lynn area and potentially beyond in the future.”

For more information about the programme, or other services provided by the charity, phone 01553 776971 or email enquiries@wnct.co.uk.