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Painful Journeys

Connie's Painful Journey

Thousands of you have told us that you or a loved one really struggle with travelling to your hospital appointments.

For most of us just having a hospital appointment is enough to worry about, but imagine having to make a long and complicated journey alone, in pain and feeling anxious about not getting there in time.

This isn’t good enough, but it doesn’t have to be like this.

With your help, we can ensure hospital transport really works and older people are given the care and support they need.

Join our campaign

Demand the Government urgently reviews the way older people travel to and from hospital

Our system for getting older people to hospital isn't fit-for-purpose

  • Transporting older people to and from hospital costs the NHS and the Government millions of pounds a year
  • Yet who gets help and how good that help is seems to be a postcode lottery
  • Currently, many older people are experiencing anxiety, exhaustion and distress getting to their hospital appointments
  • Every older person deserves to get to their hospital appointments safely without it being a struggle

I just want something that will take me directly home, so I can sleep. It's just too much.

Connie | aged 74

Hospital transport just isn’t working for many of us

Age UK hears from thousands of older people who really struggle with travelling to hospital. People like Connie, who explains just how painful her journey is in her own words below.

Connie's story

Connie, 74 was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and eventually given the all clear. But in 2009, the cancer came back. Now, nearly every week, she has to go to the hospital for chemotherapy.

Connie explains: 'I can't drive because the medication I am on gives me dizziness. I never leave the house for leisure, only for the hospital.

'I use the hospital service to get to appointments. I qualify because of the side effects of my chemotherapy medication makes it hard to walk, so I need a crutch.

'One time, I had an 8am appointment, at hospital. Although they told me to be ready by 6am, they didn't arrive until 7:30am! I was so tired and stressed by the time I started, and the treatment is already so exhausting.

'After you have finished your chemo, you just want to go home. But sometimes, with hospital transport, I have to wait two hours afterwards. Waiting in the reception or café, no one comes to see how I'm feeling. I wait on my own.

'When I finally get picked up, it takes hours. I just want something that will take me directly home, so I can sleep. It's just too much.'

Read more stories of older people who have painful journeys to hospital

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Want to know more?

Our campaign and policy reports explore the issue and explain why getting to hospital appointments is a major issue for older people.


Last updated: Jan 11 2018

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