HOLME VALLEY patients will continue to get free transport to their GP surgeries, thanks to new cash.
The innovative scheme - launched to reduce the number of home visits GPs have to make - is set to continue.
The service, which takes patients from rural areas to Honley Surgery and two practices at Elmwood Health Centre, Holmfirth collects 100 patients a week from a 30 square mile area stretching from Newsome to Shelley and Crow Edge.
But its future was left uncertain when the start-up cash it received was due to end in April.
Organisers asked Huddersfield South Primary Care Trust to pay for the £27,000-a-year service.
Now a new national funding scheme, practice-based commissioning, to be introduced from April will enable the three practices to pay for the service.
Kevin Holder, the trust's chief executive, said: "Practice- based commissioning aims to give a local focus to providing services.
"If the GPs, nurses and other health professionals of the three Holme Valley practices feel the transport scheme is valuable and are supported by their population they can decide whether it continues and to use their devolved budget to pay for the scheme."
Under the new scheme, practices are given power to pay for services according to the needs of their surgery's population.
Dr Hilary "Bill" Parker, of Honley Surgery in Marsh Gardens, welcomed the news that the transport scheme could continue.
He said: "It is our intention to fund the scheme through practice- based commissioning.
"We welcome the opportunity to develop services locally, in partnership with our patients."