Travel costs survey request
From Professor Jessica Corner,
director of improving cancer services, Macmillan Cancer
I would like to urge GPs to complete the online survey into the Hospital Travel
Costs Scheme (HTCS), under which those on low incomes are supposed to be able to claim back their travel expenses for getting to treatment.
The Department of Health consultation aims to find
how awareness of the HTCS
can be raised among NHS
staff and patients, and to
work out how patients can claim their expenses back, bearing in mind that many receive their treatment away from the hospital.
We know that many cancer patients struggle to find the money to travel to and park at hospital – on average patients make 53 trips costing £325 in total during the course of their treatment.
However, a Macmillan report revealed that only
4 per cent of those facing travel costs receive help through existing schemes such as the HTCS.
Moreover, two-thirds of those not getting help with these costs were completely unaware that these schemes even existed.
This survey is a vital opportunity to save future cancer patients hundreds of pounds and spare them the stress of trying to make ends meet.
It is important that GPs take part, and encourage their patients to do so. Visit www.dh.gov.uk, click Policy and Guidance then Policy A-Z then H and Hospital Travel Costs Scheme.