In response to concerns about disability transport it should be made clear that the value of the carers and the drivers of the units that service disabled clients is often understated and undervalued because of their standing in the profession. As a former driver combined with my carer provided stability to many clients that never experienced it in the home. Depending on the demographic the punctuality forced parents to have their child ready for the pick up, dressed and that unfortunately was about it with some. Often it was discovered breakfasts and lunches were non existent, medications not administered, personal hygiene status wanting, all information freely given to us by the clients as they knew we would report it to the schools ahead of arrival so arrangement could be made before the kids entered the class room environment.
On the positive the kids were looked after on school days and often the authorities were called in and action taken at home with variable results.
Not all clients have these issues and taxis will suit, but for those clients who felt sitting on the bus in their own seat with kids and people they trust was a vital part managing their disability and prepared them for the day ahead.
Sadly in my time involved we were the messenger as we saw first hand what the kids experienced daily in that particular demographic, some great stories and great kids and parents I recall vividly, but in the minority those less fortunate needed stability from the time they set foot on the footplate, that’s the role of the NDHS, end to end service for all recipients and if we let the bean counters allocate services we all know the needy’s voice will be given token value over a some boffins spreadsheet looking for a Micky Mouse Badge from his boss.