COUNCILLORS have asked for Dorset’s patient transport service to be looked at as part of the county council’s holistic transport review.

The decision came after members of the county council’s health scrutiny committee received an update report on eligibility criteria for patient transport provided by E-Zec.

It was revealed the service is still failing to meet its targets and had gone £2million over its expected budget. In addition, it was revealed more than 13,000 journeys had been aborted in the past year.

Mike Wood, deputy director of review, design and delivery at Dorset CCG, told the committee there were financial pressures as a result of the service.

He said: “That’s a matter of concern but I think I must stress that the commissioning of this service wasn’t about saving money. It was about the quality of the service.

“That being said, any money we spend in one part of the NHS means there is less money available in other parts.

“We are working with EZEC to make sure they do comply with the eligibility criteria however challenging that is.”

Cllr Ros Kayes said: “The thing I would hate to feel is that patients were being punished for the overspend by a tightening up of the eligibility criteria, which I think is what some people in the community feel.”

Councillors agreed a work group would be formed to investigate the issue further if the item was not appropriate for the holistic transport review.