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Help with Transport

In this section, we have information on how you can get help, if you need it, with travelling to hospital and with claiming travel and parking costs

 

Some people are able to get help travelling to hospital but to do so, you must satisfy one or more of the following criteria.

 

Transport arranged and funded by the NHS (hospital transport)

NHS funded transport is either via (non-emergency) ambulance, hospital taxi or voluntary car transport. The first time you attend hospital this transport needs to be organised by your GP.

For follow-up appointments and routine admissions, we can arrange this transport on your behalf (please contact your consultant’s secretary or booking office).

To be entitled to this type of transport, you must have a medical need or disability, which your GP will need to confirm.

 

Who can escort me?

Normally only paid professionals, such as care assistants, will be allowed to escort you on hospital transport. However, family members and friends may travel with you if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • you are under sixteen years of age
  • have significant communication difficulties, which may include learning difficulties, impaired sight or are hard of hearing
  • you have a mental health problem that prevents you from travelling alone
  • your medical condition is such that you require constant supervision for safety
  • you require a carer (which may be a family member) to assist you at your destination.

 

What defines medical need?

This means you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • you require continuous oxygen or intravenous support
  • you are unable to stand or walk more than a few steps and cannot use public transport and cannot manage in a car
  • you require medical equipment or aids that cannot be accommodated by private or general public transport
  • you require a stretcher
  • you have a clearly recognised disability or illness and are genuinely unable to make the requisite journey by any other means
  • treatment at hospital may debilitate you in such a way that you cannot be accommodated by public or private transport (such as major orthopaedic surgery).

 

Payment of travel costs (the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme)

If you are on a low income or you receive benefits such as income support, income-based job seeker’s allowance or child tax credit, you may be entitled to reclaim the cost of travelling to and from hospital, provided you use the cheapest mode of transport available (usually public transport).

 

What is definitely excluded from this?

  • Travelling to your GP surgery or other primary care locations
  • People who are able-bodied and do not meet the criteria for help with travel costs
  • Any transport for relatives or other visitors (unless you meet the criteria for medical escorts).

 

To receive help with paying for travel to hospital, you must meet the following three conditions:

  1. You must be receiving one of the qualifying benefits, for example;
    • income support
    • income-based jobseekers allowance
    • working tax credit
    • child tax credit
    • pension credit guarantee
    • or have an NHS low income scheme certificate (HC2 or HC3)
       
  2. your journey must NOT be for primary medical (GP) or dental care
     
  3. a separate journey must have been made (i.e. care must not be provided on same premises and at same time as your GP or dental referral is made).

 

To obtain an NHS low income scheme certificate, form HC1 must be completed. These forms are available from your GP surgery or from main reception at both Ashford and St. Peter’s hospitals.

You can also contact the NHS Help with Health Costs Department on 0300 330 1343.

 

How do I get reimbursed?

Eligible patients attending either Ashford or St. Peter’s hospitals can receive their reimbursement from Main Reception or the Cashier’s Desk at either hospital.

Reimbursement is on the basis of your bus or train fare (on production of your ticket) or your mileage if you come by car or taxi*. Mileage paid is currently 15p per mile (as advised by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs).

Car parking charges can also be reclaimed when travelling by car when accompanied by a valid receipt / ticket.

Alternatively, you can obtain a form to claim up to 4 separate visits by post.

 

To claim, please bring with you**.

  1. Evidence of your appointment date/time (not all appointments are visible on our computer database).
     
  2. Evidence of your entitlement to reimbursement: e.g. your NHS Low income certificate (HC2 or HC3), a copy of a letter confirming your income support, jobseeker’s allowance or working / child tax credit.
     
  3. Evidence of any dependents (if claiming as / for a dependent), such as birth certificate / marriage certificate / joint utilities bill / council tax bill etc. If you don’t have any of these, please ask the DWP for a letter to confirm you are listed as a dependent (they are able to provide these without charge).
     
  4. Evidence of the cost of your journey (if public transport) such as bus / train tickets.
     

* Please note that journeys by car or taxi will be reimbursed at a rate of 15p per mile from your home address to hospital by the shortest route possible.

** Please do not be offended when we ask for this evidence, as we are legally obligated to ensure that your claim is legitimate under the NHS Regulations 2003.

 

Further details of this scheme can be found in leaflet HC12 or via the NHS Choices website.

For any further queries about travelling to Ashford or St. Peter’s Hospitals, please call us on 01932 723553.

 

Dial-a-Ride services

The Dial-a-Ride service offers transportation to patients and members of the public who find it difficult to access traditional bus services. You can find about individual services by clicking on the links below.

Area Telephone More Information
East Surrey Dial-a-Ride 01883 349001 East Surrey Travel
Elmbridge Dial-a-Ride 01372 474944 Elmbridge Council
Epsom & Ewell "Route Call" 01372 732423 Epsom Council
Guildford Dial-a-Ride 01483 458052 Guildford Council
Mole Valley Community Transport 01372 383333 Mole Valley Council
Reigate and Banstead Buses 4U 01372 20 45 40 Buses4U
Runnymede Community Transport 01932 425050 Runnymede Council
Spelthorne "Spelride" 01372 474550 Spelthorne Council
Surrey Heath Community Transport 01276 707658 Surrey Heath Council
Woking Community Transport 01483 724433 Woking Bustler
Waverley Hoppa 01478 681701 Hoppa

 

Please note that in some cases this may be a membership service and a small charge may be required. The above contacts should be able to answer any questions you may have and provide timetables and application forms.

 

Accessible Transport Guide for Spelthorne

The Local Spelthorne Partnership has put together a guide to accessible transport and concessions available for people travelling around the borough. The full guide can be viewed here along with other useful information around community support.

 

 

Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS)

Who can use it?

The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) is for patients with a medical need. Your GP or clinician will tell you if you are eligible. This normally means:

  • you need prescribed oxygen to help you breathe;
  • you need intravenous (IV) support;
  • you can only be moved by stretcher
  • you depend upon medical equipment or aids that won’t fit in alternative transport;
  • the treatment you are receiving leaves you so debilitated that you can’t use alternative transport;
  • your illness, condition or disability makes it difficult, impossible or undesirable to be moved by alternative transport;
  • you need the skills of a qualified assistant on the journey.

 

You can’t use NEPTS if:

  • you don’t have a medical need;
  • you’re visiting your GP, dentist, pharmacist or optician.

 

The NW Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group has produced a leaflet with more information that you can download by clicking here

 

 

Book a wheelchair with the Porters

Book a wheelchair and Porter at St Peters by ringing 01932 722036 or Ashford 01784 884692 and arrange a day, location and time for assistance.