Bus Users reject NHS bus pass call

Bus Users UK has rejected a call from the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, to reconsider free bus passes in favour of funding the NHS. Stevens suggested that funding basic care needs should take priority over pension protection and free bus passes. But Bus Users Chair, Norman Baker, believes that providing access to transport is in itself meeting a basic care need: ‘Simon Stevens argues that there is no point in free transport if the person is unable to leave their home through lack of care. But the opposite is also true. What is the point of improving health services if people are stuck at home and unable to access them? Personally I have some sympathy with his call for more funding for the NHS but taking away a lifeline from elderly people is not the way to plug the gap.’

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