Consultation on the Changes to the On-Island Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service

Closed 7 Feb 2022

Opened 10 Dec 2021

Feedback updated 14 Mar 2022

We asked

We asked for your views about what you thought might be influencing Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) demand and why you thought people currently use it.  We also asked who you think should be able to access the service.  Using your responses, we want to form a fair and consistent set of eligibility criteria for patients accessing NEPTS.

You said

The consultation closed on 7th February, with 300 online responses, 8 paper copies and 2 email general feedback received.  We had an approximately equal split of NEPTS service users (or their carers / loved ones) and non-users. There were 11 responses on behalf of organisations (including Manx Care, residential homes, and charities) and some people just citing an interest. 

In Part 1 of the survey, we asked only those of you who had experience of NEPTS to complete some further questions to help us understand why you/your loved one had used the service, if anyone else was carried at the same time and how you/your loved one normally travel around in your day to day life.

You told us you use NEPTS :

  • To get from hospital to home/care home (22%)
  • To get to outpatient appointments (15%)
  • To attend Nobles as a day-case (12%)
  • Other (including air transport for UK appointments, eye clinic and physiotherapy) (29%)

You told us the reason you use it is because:

  • You had a chronic medical condition that prevented them from being legally able to drive (27%)
  • You had a medical condition that temporarily prevented them from being able to drive (25%)
  • You had no one to transport you (12%)
  • You did not drive or did not have a vehicle (10%)

In Part 2 of the survey, we asked all of you to read a proposed set of eligibility criteria and answer some questions about whether or not you agreed with the statements and principles given.  We were also keen to understand how the proposals would impact you directly, how they could impact others and whether you felt we should consider any additional criteria.

There was strong support in all groups for a clear set of eligibility criteria based on assessed medical need (76-81%), with similar strength of support for the principle that patients should arrange their own travel to NHS appointments.

Over half of you felt that patients should not be automatically provided with transport free of charge.

We also asked you to advise us if you felt the eligibility criteria would prevent you from receiving the service in the future (31.4% said yes), whether there were any particular groups that would be disadvantaged (about half of you thought there would be) and whether there were any additional criteria you felt we should consider (over half of you felt there is).  There were some general themes around specific medical conditions, mobility and affordability which we need to look at further.

In Part 3 of the survey, we wanted to understand if the current model of service (on-demand and door-to-door) is the most effective and how any changes such as introducing a schedule, fees and/or central collection hubs in a town/village would affect you or others.

61% of you felt 30-60 minutes would be an acceptable waiting time if we were to change the way the service is run to try and make less journeys throughout the day.

80% of you said you would pay if there was a requirement to, with £5 the most common price for all distances (5, 10 and 15 miles).

The idea of specific collection points rather than door to door was not particularly supported, especially when looking at individual groups of users and organisations, with mobility, distance for walking, problems with getting to/from the collection points cited as the main reason.

There is strong support for changing how the health service schedules its appointment times to help people overcome issues of accessing Public Transport.

In Part 4, we asked for details of your geographical location to ensure that we had responses that reflected all types of areas (urban/rural, varying distances from central medical services etc.) in our survey.

From all responders all postcodes, except IM6, had at least 16 respondents, with IM2,4,8 and 9 being the most represented areas.

We did

When we launched the consultation in December, we committed to publishing the results by March with a view to introducing eligibility criteria in April.

We will now look in more detail at the findings and work with our partners in Manx Care and Bus Vannin to make sure that we develop a financially sustainable policy that will keep NEPTS available for those who need.

In order for us to do this, we will extend our policy formation stage to 3 -6 months so that we can continue engagement with our key stakeholders and aim to take a policy to Tynwald for consideration by October this year.

Results updated 14 Mar 2022



The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consultation seeks to introduce eligibility criteria for the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS), and would like your views about what these criteria may be.


The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) was designed to provide transport for patients who, because of a medical condition, are unable to make their own way to an NHS medical appointment or home after being discharged from NHS-funded treatment.

Use of the service has risen sharply in the last four years. In 2017, NEPTS delivered 4983 journeys, but by 2020, this had risen to 8697 journeys. This is a rise from 19 journeys per day to 33 per day. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, NEPTS has delivered more than 2500 journeys.

Our research suggests a number of potential causes for this increase in demand, which include:

  1. Clinics moving into the community and away from the Noble’s Hospital site – increasing destinations that causes an increase of individual journeys.
  2. The delivery of on-demand collection - as a mechanism for accelerating patient discharges from Noble’s Hospital.
  3. Absence of clear eligibility criteria for NEPTS, which has made it unclear who should be accessing the service.

Why your views matter

Costs of providing the service have inevitably risen with the 75% increase in demand. We want to ensure that NEPTS is used by people who really need it because it is an expensive service to provide and it’s funded by taxpayer money.

Your responses to this consultation will help us gain a clearer picture of what is driving NEPTS demand and why you think people use it currently. It will also help us to understand who you think should be able to access the service.

As well as collecting valuable data, your responses will help us to form a fair and consistent set of eligibility criteria to be implemented in April 2022.


We want to make sure that NHS funded NEPTS continues to be available for those who need it. Introducing clear eligibility criteria will make it easy for people to understand who should use the service.

The outcomes of this consultation will be used by the DHSC and the Department of Infrastructure Bus Vannin to develop the final eligibility criteria. We will link these outcomes to the analysis of DOI’s consultation that is looking at accessibility of public transport on the Isle of Man for disabled people.

We will publish the outcome analysis from this consultation in the form of a ‘We asked, You said, We did’ response.

What happens next

We intend to publish the results of this Consultation in March 2022 with a view to implementing the eligibility criteria in April 2022.


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