Travel time and access to healthcare for teenagers and young adults with cancer
Session type: Poster / e-Poster / Silent Theatre session
In teenage and young adult cancer care little is known about the relationship between the distance from a patients home address to hospital and a patients decision about where to be treated.
This work aimed to establish how far TYA patients were travelling to healthcare facilities and whether they were travelling beyond the nearest hospital capable of treating them.
14,413 unique combinations of postcode of residence at admission and hospital postcode were identified in the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data. Geographical mapping software was used to calculate road travel time and road travel distance for patients. Euclidean distances were calculated to determine the closest capable hospital for each home address.
The median distance travelled by road was 12.5km and the median travel time was 20 minutes. There were a wide range of travel times and distances for the patients with the greatest distance being 783km.
Patients diagnosed with bone tumours had the greatest median travel distance (25.5km) and travel time (35.4 minutes). Leukaemia patients also travelled further than their peers with the third highest median travel distance (19.8km) the second highest travel median travel time (27.5 minutes). In contrast carcinoma patients travelled the shortest distance (median =11.8km).
Over half of patients (58%) attended their nearest hospital, 42% of patients had admissions to hospitals other than at their nearest trust. Leukaemia, bone tumours and soft tissue sarcoma patients had over half of their admissions to hospitals outside their nearest NHS trust (50%, 56% and 55% respectively).
There is clear variation in travel times and distances for TYA patients, seemingly related to diagnosis. Future work will involve determining whether patients are travelling beyond their local hospital to a cancer centre or TCT unit and also whether there is a relationship between travel time/distance and the treatment received.