Changing travel patterns and journeys to health services in Great Britain 1985-2012: An examination health service utilisation using the National Travel Survey

Hine, Julian, Kamruzzaman, Md., & Banerjee, Urbi (2015) Changing travel patterns and journeys to health services in Great Britain 1985-2012: An examination health service utilisation using the National Travel Survey. In Changing Perspectives: 1st International Conference on Transport and Health (ICTH 2015), 6 - 8 July 2015, UCL Campus, London.

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This paper examines changing patterns in the utilisation and geographic access to health services in Great Britain using National Travel Survey data (1985-2012). The National Travel Survey (NTS) is a series of household surveys designed to provide data on personal travel and monitor changes in travel behaviour over time. The utilisation rate was derived using the proportion of journeys made to access health services. Geographic access was analysed by separating the concept into its accessibility and mobility dimensions.


Variables from the PSU, households, and individuals datasets were used as explanatory variables. Whereas, variables extracted from the journeys dataset were used as dependent variables to identify patterns of utilisation i.e. the proportion of journeys made by different groups to access health facilities in a particular journey distance or time band or by mode of transport; and geographic access to health services. A binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify the utilisation rate over the different time periods between different groups. This analysis shows the Odds Ratios (ORs) for different groups making a trip to utilise health services compared to their respective counterparts. Linear multiple regression analyses were conducted to then identify patterns of change in the accessibility and mobility level.


Analysis of the data has shown that that journey distances to health facilities were signi fi cantly shorter and also gradually reduced over the period in question for Londoners, females, those without a car or on low incomes, and older people. Although rates of utilisation of health services we re Oral Abstracts / Journal of Transport & Health 2 (2015) S5 – S63 S43 signi fi cantly lower because of longer journey times. These fi ndings indicate that the rate of utilisation of health services largely depends on mobility level although previous research studies have traditionally overlooked the mobility dimension.


This fi nding, therefore, suggests the need to improve geographic access to services together with an enhanced mobility option for disadvantaged groups in order for them to have improved levels of access to health facilities. This research has also found that the volume of car trips to health services also increased steadily over the period 1985-2012 while all other modes accounted for a smaller number of trips. However, it is dif fi cult to conclude from this research whether this increase in the volume of car trips was due to a lack of alternative transport or due to an increase in the level of car-ownership.

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ID Code: 88941
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information:

Abstract published in Journal of Transport & Health

Volume 2, Issue 2, Supplement, June 2015, Pages S43–S44

Additional URLs:
Keywords: Health services utilisation, Geographic access, Distance decay, Accessibility, Mobility
DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2015.04.562
ISSN: 2214-1413
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health and Community Services (111708)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Transport Planning (120506)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the Authors]
Deposited On: 12 Oct 2015 22:24
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2015 18:06

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