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NHS spends millions transporting patients without PMI by taxi

Published on 20/10/2011

Patients without private medical insurance (PMI) are being transported between hospitals in private taxis, costing the NHS more than £30 million since 2008.

A BBC Freedom of Information Request revealed that a shortage on non-emergency transport in the NHS has led to trusts spending hundreds of pounds transporting just one patient from a hospital to another.

The figures cover the transfer of patients too ill to travel by themselves, such as those receiving chemotherapy or with broken limbs. Health chiefs insisted that they were aiming to reduce their risk of taxis because of the high costs.

The East of England Ambulance Trust paid £777.45 for a 184-mile journey from Cambridge to Bristol when a patient was discharged from Papworth Hospital. But the North West Ambulance Service has spent the most on taxis, totalling £9.9m since April 2008.

Patient transport services should be equipped with basic medical supplies such as oxygen, and driven by trained staff. Sara Gorton, from Unison, said:

"There may be occasions where it is unavoidable, but while these are not patients who have dialled 999, there will be times when they will need someone with more skills and training than just how to drive.”

With the NHS having to make savings of £20bn by 2015, use of private taxis will need to be reduced in order to be cost efficient.

Instead of being transported in a taxi, patients with private health insurance will have access to a private ambulance when medically necessary. Compare health insurance policies online now to gain peace of mind about your future healthcare.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
NHS spends millions transporting patients without PMI by taxiPatients without private medical insurance  (PMI) are being transported between hospitals in private taxis, costing the NHS more     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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