The Gateshead Housing Company is helping patients to attend appointments at a local medical centre.
The Crisis Transportation Fund was set up at the medical centre to help patients when it was realised that travel can cost enough to deter patients from completing a course of treatment. Medical professionals at the practice and volunteer Practice Health Champions advise patients in need about the service.
The scheme was developed by partnership working between the housing company, Gateshead Council’s Capacity Building Team, and Teams Medical Practice Health and Wellbeing Action Group, which is made up of volunteers who promote health and wellbeing to the local community.
Local patients and residents were consulted on the project, and feedback has been very positive and supportive.
Practice Manager Sue Jennings said: “Costs can soon mount up and become difficult to manage when patients need repeat visits or long-term treatment, especially when public transport is not readily available or is not suitable for their medical requirements.
“The Crisis Transportation Fund aims to ensure that patients complete their treatment, reducing the risk of further medical problems and preventing financial difficulties.”
Richard Finlow, Housing Manager for the Central area, said: “The scheme is vital to our most needy tenants. This financial help with transport will allow people to maintain their independence.”
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