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Making a Difference – News and Projects from Wales
CTA works collaboratively with the Public sector other Third Sector Organisations to promote the Community Transport Sector, ensuring its role and value in Wales is fully understood and recognised by decision makers.
Our impact is driven by our members and this is reflected in the role of CTA; supporting our members whilst acting as an interface for the sector with Welsh Government, the Public and Third Sectors and the wider public.
Aside from the help and support provided through our development officers, the Wales team is always working on or developing additional projects with a view to addressing common areas of concern or finding new ways to promote and support the sector.
Here’s a taste of some of the current projects and activities we’re undertaking:
Following the 2014 Griffiths Report, the CTA has worked with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST), Local Health Boards and Welsh Government in finding ways for Community Transport in Wales to help improve Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS).
As a result of CTA's involvement, Community Transport Services have been recognised as a legitimate part of a patchwork of transport providers for NEPTS provision in Wales. Pilot services with Community Transport have consistently demonstrated improved levels of patient satisfaction.
Access to Health
Aside from working across Wales on NEPTS, CTA Wales has been supporting Local Health Boards and GP surgeries in the Amman Valley find a solution to an increasing number of ‘Did Not Attends’ (DNA’s) for doctors appointments. The very rural nature of the area can make getting to a doctor’s appointment difficult, but the people who struggle most for appropriate transport are often those who are hardest to reach. CTA is working with partners and Community Transport Providers to provide information on transport services inside prescription bags. The aim is to reach some of the more isolated and vulnerable people whose lives could be transformed by access to the local Community Transport Services.
Loneliness and isolation
Community Transport has always recognised the role it plays in ensuring people can retain their independence in later life. Lack of access to suitable transport is a key factor behind why people can begin to feel isolated or lonely and so it isn’t surprising that Community Transport services can have a major impact in reducing the level of loneliness and isolation in Wales.
The effects of loneliness and isolation on health and wellbeing are increasingly recognised and the public sector are paying increasing attention to how loneliness and isolation can be addressed. CTA is actively representing the interests of Community Transport at local, regional and national events to ensure stakeholders recognise the central role transport barriers have and how community transport services can help address this growing problem if adequately resourced.
The Welsh Government invited CTA in Wales to develop a proposal for a Pan Wales Community Transport Project that could be considered under European funding. The project brief was for something that focussed on addressing transport gaps in rural areas, but with an all Wales remit. The resulting bid, entitled Building a pan-Wales, demand responsive community transport solution in partnership has been developed.
The project seeks to establish a network of Regional Coordinating Bodies across Wales, working in partnership with third sector organisations and public sector to map transport gaps and define new ways that community transport can address local issues. Included in the bid is funding to address some of the most pressing concerns in the community transport sector including training, D1 driver licencing and capital funding for vehicle replacement. If the bid is approved to receive funding, the project will be a significant step forward in the development of a more sustainable network of community transport services.
CTA routinely circulates open consultations to its members, but there are occasions where CTA is asked to comment on documents and policies that are not for public distribution. In these instances, the close working relationship between the CTA and our members in Wales is essential for us to provide an informed comment and opinion.
Recently, the Wales team was called upon to present evidence at the Business and Enterprise committee Inquiry on Bus and Community Transport Services in Wales. This opportunity enabled CTA to present vital evidence that set out the limitations placed upon Community Transport, how Community Transport could do even more if supported appropriately and provide some recommendations of how Community Transport Services can meet the needs of Wales. We are pleased to say that many of the points raised are included in the final report of the inquiry’s findings and we will continue to work with Welsh Government to support the implementation of the recommendations resulting from the inquiry.
If you want to keep up to date on current activities and projects then you may like to sign up to receive the Wales news brief through your e-mail.
To view past news briefs, please visit the Wales resources page