Patient Transport Survey 2012
The survey was jointly initiated by the National Renal Office (NRO) to provide an accurate national picture of patient transport to best meet the needs of patients travelling to and from haemodialysis.
The following are the main results of the survey:
The first question was on age. 66% of patients (surveyed) are 60 years and over and 45% are over 70 years old. The question on mobility revealed that 37% of patients use a mobility aid of some description. Over 20% use a walking stick, over 5% a frame and 13.6% of patients use a wheelchair.
The distance from home to the dialysis unit answers revealed that 29% live within 10 miles of their unit and 9% travel more than 50 miles. These results allowed us to find the average distance which we calculate as 24 miles per journey which is an average total of 7,500 miles per year and overall we can now estimate from the survey that haemodialysis patients travel 12 million miles per year for their treatments.
The days of the week people are treated are as follows.
Monday 54.1, Tuesday 45.3, Wednesday 57.7, Thursday 44.1, Friday 52.4, Saturday 40.5, and Sunday 10.6.
How people travelled was a very important question and 10% of you drive your own cars, while 4.4% of you also self arrange your transport and drive to and from your treatment privately. 6 people go by public transport and 6 arrange and pay for their own taxis. 83.
6% of patients transport is arranged by the HSE and 3 people were using an ambulance, 723 were using taxis (73.9%) and 95 or 9.7% were provided with mini bus transport.
85% of HSE provided transport arrived on time for the journey to dialysis. Arriving early was a bigger problem at 6.7% than late at 4.6%.
In contrast only 67% of provided transport was on time for the journeys from the dialysis units. 6.5% waited 30-60 minutes and 2.2% waited over 1 hour. There were 3 questions on assistance requirements which were answered consistently. 26-28% of patients required assistance to their vehicles.
The journey times to and from haemodialysis showed similarity as you would expect. 45% of journeys were less than 30 minutes and 35% were between 30 and 60 minutes. 19% were over 1 hour long. 1% or 10 journeys were over 2 hours.
50% of patients, using HSE transport, did not have other patients collected after them and 5% have 3 or more people travelling with them.
One-third of patients waited 15-30 minutes before starting their treatment and 13% waited longer than 30 minutes.
87% of patients start dialysis between 6am and 6pm and 80% finish treatment in that time frame. 9.1% of patients started dialysis in the evening after 6pm.
We know, from an earlier question, that 15.6% or 159 people manage their own transport by driving themselves or are driven, but only 53 receive an allowance from the HSE and even less, 24 people, make a claim for mileage on their income tax return. The current tax allowance rates are printed elsewhere in this magazine.
245 people (28.4%) thought that self-arrangement of their own transport would, or does, reduce their travel time and 215 (25%) thought it improves the travel experience.
A similar number 256 (27.2%) agreed that more patients would self-arrange their own dialysis transport, if a suitable allowance was made available to support them.
107 or (11.2%) of patients have a dialysis unit closer to where they live but only 61 of them would prefer to go to the nearer unit.
Finally, patients were asked for suggestions for improvements in transport. 208 used this opportunity to offer thanks and positive comments on the transport provided. 55 gave suggestions of a neutral and informative nature and 108 gave negative comments of an informative nature.