This paper examines changing patterns in the utilisation and geographic access to health services in Great Britain using National Travel Survey data (1985-2006). 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. Regression analyses were conducted to investigate the differences between different socio-spatial groups in these indicators over the period 1985-2006. This study found that journey distances to health facilities were significantly shorter and also gradually reduced over the period in question for Londoners, females, those without a car or on low incomes, and older people. However, most of their rates of utilisation of health services were found to be significantly lower because their journey times were significantly longer and also gradually increased over the periods. These findings indicate that the rate of utilisation of health services largely depends on mobility level although previous research studies have traditionally overlooked the mobility dimension.
Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.