A TRANSPORT group has been set up to tackle the public’s fears of getting to health appointments safely under controversial proposals.

A Transport Reference Group will develop ‘an integrated transport system for non-emergency health and social care across Dorset’ if found to be possible, according to NHS Dorset CCG.

As previously reported, fears have been raised over public transport and estimated travel times if proposals for Dorset’s Clinical Services Review go ahead.

These include changes to community services, acute hospital care, maternity care and community hospitals across the county.

The CCG said the new group will identify gaps in transport connections to health services across the county and consider what can be done to address them. It will work with local healthcare transport schemes such as e-Zec which is contracted to provide transport for non-urgent NHS patients.

A report produced by the group states options could include sharing vehicles and routes, moving stops to make them more accessible, making better use of community and voluntary schemes and using technology to help organise and schedule services.

Tim Goodson chief officer of NHS Dorset CCG, said: “It was clear from the feedback we received during the public consultation phase of the CSR that travel is a real concern amongst people living in and around Dorset.

“We have carried out some additional work to provide assurance of the travel times we used in the proposals and to explore how transport services could work better in the future.

“We want to reassure people that although some care may be delivered from different locations in the future, the impact of these changes may not be negative.”

The decision on the Clinical Services Review will be made on September 20.