Elderly people are having to endure painful journeys to and from hospital because transport is not up to scratch, it is claimed.

A Cumbrian has called on the government to conduct an urgent review of patient transport for older people nationally.

Tim Farron is backing Age UK's Painful Journeys campaign, which highlights the struggle faced by elderly patients.

The charity says those travelling to and from hospital often face painful journeys, particularly in rural areas like Cumbria where they often have to travel long distances on poor roads.

Mr Farron, MP for South Lakes, has written to Health Minister Steve Brine, who is in charge of non-emergency transport.

He urged him to conduct an urgent review of hospital-provided patient transport, community and public transport.

The Liberal Democrat said more must be done to ensure every hospital journey for an older person is comfortable, affordable, retains their dignity and gets them to and from hospital in a reasonable time.

"The current system for transporting people to hospitals, which is pretty much a postcode lottery at the severe detriment of the elderly in our area, is simply not fit for purpose," he said.

Last month, Mr Farron tabled a motion in Parliament to show support for Age Uk's Painful Journeys campaign.

Penny Pullinger, chief executive of Age UK South Lakeland, said they are collecting evidence to show the plight faced by many older residents across some of the most isolated parts of the country.

She is urging anyone who has experienced painful journeys in Cumbria to contact them. “We are particular keen to provide evidence highlighting the additional challenges facing older people living in rural communities and if anyone has had a difficult journey recently we would like to hear about it," she explained.

Age UK in South Lakeland runs a Home from Hospital service to help those who are at the point of discharge and may need some extra help when they get home and for a few weeks after.

Mr Farron said: "In the South Lakes where the number of people over the age of 60 is 10 per cent higher than the national average, we know all too well the struggle that older people face when it comes to travelling to hospital.

“The Home from Hospital service that Age UK runs is a really great initiative which gives older people the support they need after they’ve left hospital. However, this service should be standard practice not just something that has to be provided by a voluntary organisation.”