1. Is the Shuttle Bus service stopping at the end of April 2016?
No. The current service will continue to run as normal until the end of June 2016 as we are about to undertake a period of engagement with passengers to get views and to look at options for service going forward.
The engagement will take place in May (end 17 May) and we will be analysing our feedback before taking the results to our Governing Body meeting on 26 May 2016 for a decision.
2. If the CCG does decide to stop the Shuttle Bus service, are you considering any other transport options/solutions to James Cook Hospital to support patients, their families and carers specifically affected by the Paediatric/Maternity service reconfiguration (for which the shuttle bus pilot service was originally introduced)?
Yes. The CCG is currently reviewing a range of transport options which could be implemented if there were no other possible option but to discontinue the Shuttle Bus service.
3. Are there alternative transport options for me to get to James Cook Hospital (from Northallerton) other than the Shuttle Bus service?
Yes. There is a commercial bus service in operation currently that runs from Northallerton and stops at James Cook University Hospital. This service was not in operation when the Shuttle Bus pilot service commenced.
There is also a train service running between Northallerton and Middlesbrough. The following links to the relevant train and bus timetables are available through the following websites:
- X80 – X90 bus service: http://southtees.nhs.uk/content/uploads/North-Yorshire-bus-service-to-James-Cook.pdf
- Train service: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
4. Why was the Shuttle Bus service introduced if you don’t think you can fund it anymore?
The CCG decided to introduce a patient transport service between the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough after the reconfiguration of Paediatric and Maternity services. The bus was primarily introduced free of charge for patients, their family and carers affected by Paediatric and Maternity services as there was not a commercial bus service at that time (October 2014).
There is now a commercial bus service between the two sites along with a number of other patient transport options.
The funding allocation this year was as we anticipated and has led to a significant gap in funding, which we were not aware of when we set the service up.
5. Has the CCG asked other healthcare organisations if they are willing to contribute to the cost of operating the service?
Yes. Unfortunately no other organisations have funding available at the current time to support the Shuttle Bus service.
6. How was the £9 charge (per single journey) calculated?
The £9 single journey charge is based on an average of 300 passenger journeys per week running over a 50 week operational year (bank holidays excluded as the Shuttle Bus is not operational during these days).
Of the average 300 journeys per week we know that 60% of passengers are patients and 40% are NHS employees.
Making the assumption that half of the non-NHS employee passengers are eligible to travel free of charge (e.g. have a valid bus pass) that leaves 70% (210 passengers per week) of total passengers on the bus who are eligible to pay the suggested £9.
Using a £9 single journey charge, 210 passengers would produce an estimated £1,900 per week (dependent on the number of operational days in the month).
Based on a 50 week year the total income from paying passengers would equate to £94,000 (so £1,900 x 50) covering the cost of the service contract.
7. Does the service have to give notice before it can introduce a charge for passengers travelling on the service?
Yes. 56 days ‘notice’ must be provided from declaring the intention to start charging passengers for using the service until the date the charge can be legally introduced.
8. Are there any passengers who will not have to pay if a charge is introduced?
Yes. Any passenger with a valid bus pass will be eligible to travel free of charge on the service.
9. If a charge is introduced and you want to stop the service, do you have to give notice beforehand?
Yes. 56 days ‘notice must also be provided from declaring the intention to stop a commercial service (where are charge applies) until the date the service can be legally stopped.
10. You are not giving people much time to give their feedback. What have you done so far to get views from passengers on the current service?
Over the last six months we have been reviewing the current Shuttle Bus service. We have had CCG staff travelling on the bus talking to passengers about their experience and we recorded feedback by a hard copy and electronic questionnaire.
As part of this period of engagement, we are taking a similar approach but asking more direct questions with regards to passenger usage and charges to get more clarity and feedback.
We are and continue to be, committed to engaging with our population before making any formal decision in regard to services and will consider all views.
You can download these questions as a PDF [PDF 247KB]
Do you have a question you would like to ask us about the Shuttle Bus service?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us: NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton DL6 2UU.