LEADERS of a council serving one of England’s most rural counties have endorsed calls for NHS bosses to end a postcode lottery over patient transport.

A meeting of North Yorkshire County Council’s executive heard while Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby and Harrogate clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) automatically gave free transport to chemotherapy, radiotherapy and dialysis patients, those in the Vale of York and Scarborough and Ryedale CCG areas were assessed.

Members were told CCGs were set to include rurality as a factor in decisions over patient transport.

Executive member for social care and health, Councillor Michael Harrison said: “We should be asking all the CCGs to be consistent in their approach. That should include the impact of rurality, access to public transport and distances. The entire process should be clear and transparent and better publicised. If we are reliant on an appeal process all the time to get the right outcome then the process is wrong.”