Vantastic Health Route - Fingal (Pilot)

This Entry has been submitted.

Vantastic Health Route - Fingal (Pilot): A community based pilot to deliver door to door health transport service in the rural and urban areas of Fingal for the over 65s

Dublin (Fingal Area), IrelandDublin (Fingal Area)
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

This pilot service was designed, implemented and developed to accommodate the challenges that health-related transport presents for older people with impaired mobility in Fingal. The solution reached was based on the existing Vantastic Health Route model, with priority set on delivering a local, individualised service that was tailored to meet the specific requirements identified via the Age Friendly Initiative consultation with older people.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Fingal the majority of mainstream public transport services are radial based routes that serve Dublin City Centre with very limited direct services to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. State funded non emergency medical transport is limited due to eligibility criteria and resources. In addition to the above older people identified themselves that taxis costs were unaffordable and that reling on family and friends to transport them to appointments was not always suitable. Due to the above in consultation older people said that they missed nearly half of all hospital appointments. This was very bad for the individuals own health, limiting their ability to live at home had a negative impact on the State Health Services purse.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We developed a demand responsive, door-to-door service localised for older people in Fingal based on the Vantastic Health Route Model. Clients registered with Vantastic for the service on-line or by post and then requested transport as required, usually by phone. A key element of the project involved the establishment of a standard service beyond pilot. This was achieved via the completion of a pilot project evaluation in mid 2013 which highlighted the significant increase in the attendance at health appointments and combined with a participant revenue model and public funds Department of Health and Social Protection the pilot rolled over into a standard service in September 2013. Today over 600 older people are using the standard service.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A service user of Health Route lives in Skerries, He regularly travels to Beaumont hospital in Dublin 9 for medical treatment as he has a chronic condition. One-way is c 17 miles and can take 35-60 minutes by car. There is no direct bus route to the hospital and taking multiple buses is very stressful when he is unwell. Parking there is expensive so on one occasion he took a taxi at an unsustainable cost of €80. Relatives/friends have brought him however they had to take time off work. He registered for Health Route via a form and now on receiving his appointment he calls the professional customer support line to book his return journey on an accessible, warm vehicle where he can interact with others on a safe door-to-door service.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In Ireland over 20 local authority areas have adopted the WHO Age Friendly County & Cities Programme supported by Age Friendly Ireland. It has the support of the very strategic stakeholders across governmental departments and leaders in public service and the NGO and business sectors. To date the Vantastic Health Route Fingal (Pilot)has been showcased as a model of excellence, an exemplar of how an Age Friendly Alliance can move a pilot to a mainstreamed service, by highlighting that reconfiguring existing budgets to deliver services in a demand responsive way can increase the cost effectiveness significanly and have multiple additional benefits. Locally we hope to see the role out of the model in the rest of Dublin as additional areas adopt the WHO Age Friendly programme. Additionally we see that all Age Friendly Counties across Ireland and further afield could adopt the model.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

No other approach is providing the direct door to door provision. That said a number of transportation providers including Dublin Bus, a rural transport service called NIFTI funded by National Government, ad hoc Non emergency Patient Transport Services provided by the HSE, private Taxis and ad hoc lifts by friends and family do meet some need. In conjunction with these providers the stakeholders involved in the pilot and its subsequent roll-out to a standard service, now feel that a robust health transport service is now in place for older people in both the urban and rural areas of Fingal where the service operates. The issue of non emergency transport is a national agenda item within Ireland and Vantastic Health Route-Fingal (Pilot) represented a new departure where a service was developed and delivered under the auspices of Older people with the assistance of Public/NGO services.


The Fingal Age Friendly Alliance was formed to bring a range of stakeholders together to find practical and realistic ways to address issues of concern to older adults. The Fingal Age Friendly Alliance is chair independently by a former government minister and includes the most senior members of the many agencies including Fingal County Council, An Garda Síochána, Health Service Executive, County Dublin VEC, Dublin City University, Fingal Senior Citizens’ Forum and the National Transport Authority. Key to the delivery of the service and key performance indicator reporting was the responsibility of the Vantastic Management & Board.