Vulnerable patients prevented from going to hospital appointments

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John, goes to the Royal Free Hospital & Chase Farm Hospital. He is 86, has severe COPD and heart problems and is anaemic. He has a catheter due to prostate health problems and his legs are bandaged up. John’s patient transport has been stopped by the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust on the basis that he can get in and out of a taxi. Simply saying that you can get into a taxi is enough for the Trust to say you are ineligible for patient transport. Although he can get in and out of one, John cannot walk to and from the taxi. The patient transport staff used to take him in a hospital wheelchair right from the transport to his appointment. He does not have his own wheelchair and can only walk a few steps and falls easily. If he did have a wheelchair, he would not be able to propel himself. His daughter works full time and is not always available to support him. Since his patient transport has been stopped, he has cancelled some appointments, but as they are so important for his health care he has been forced to struggle by taxi to some. In these instances, he has had extreme difficulty walking from the taxi to the hospital. He holds onto the railings and finds it very dangerous.

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