Elderly care home patients are having to pay up to £40 for private taxis to hospital appointments in Devon because of a change in policy.
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust trust said eligibility for transport services had been reviewed.
Nigel Morris, manager of the Palm Court nursing home in Dawlish, said the situation was "awful" and "abhorrent".
He said residents who used wheelchairs were now required to use private transport to get to Torbay hospital.
The trust, which runs patient transport services in Torbay and South Devon, said its resources were "finite" and eligibility criteria for transport services now followed "national guidance".
'Should be ashamed'
Mr Morris told the BBC he first noticed the changes a couple of months ago when Torbay hospital told him there was a new telephone number to ring to arrange patient transport.
He said when he called the number he was put through to a taxi firm.
Mr Morris said: "I've been in this business for 40 years and this is the most broken system for the elderly that I've ever known.
"It's awful, it's abhorrent, they should be ashamed."
Mr Morris said the return journey to Torbay Hospital by taxi cost £40.
Why can Dawlish Disability Transport not take up the slack, I thought thats what they where all about. Go have a word with Jan at the office up Barton car park. If no luck transfere your residents to RD&E Exeter. They offer a far better service than Torbay anyway. Good Luck.
Needs more money throwing at it.The whole system is a bloody mess.
The start of a privatisation for the N.H.S
I agree that to charge £40 is a lot, but taxi drivers have to make a profit too. All too many of them are struggling to make a decent living. However, as FredBassett said, contact Dawlish Disability Transport. If you give them enough notice a vehicle and driver could be supplied for a lot less and the driver will wait for you to bring you home from the appointment as well. You will be given the price for your journey one you have given them the details. Please remember too that the drivers are all volunteers.
DDT is there for everyone who has a disability, not just for hospital appointments but for anything else you might need transport to get to.
The drivers are helpful and patient and will do their best to get you there and back in comfort and safety.