Non-emergency patient transport
From May 2018 non-emergency patient transport will be provided to those patients who have a severe medical need, and to those for whom their mobility or medical condition makes it difficult or impossible to attend one of our locations without assistance and has no available private (family, friend) transport. It is important that you check if you are still eligible for transport under the new criteria.
Am I eligible for non-emergency patient transport?
After 1st May, your eligibility will be assessed by your referring GP or your CLCH clinician and then at regular intervals in order to ensure continued eligibility, and that the most appropriate vehicle is being provided.
If you are an in-patient and have been clinically assessed as being eligible for patient transport, the clinic or ward will be responsible for booking your transport.
The criteria set out by the Department of Health (DoH) is as follows.
Approved reasons for requesting patient transport are:
- Bed bound
- Wheelchair bound
- Severely restricted mobility, due to physical / mental condition, including:
- Clinically deaf or blind
- Fractures causing restricted mobility
- Dementia and other detrimental cognitive conditions.
- You require skilled assistance when transferring to and from a vehicle, (for example, being on a stretcher, due to dementia, physical disabilities or mental capacity issues).
- You have a disability or condition that makes it difficult, impossible or undesirable for them to be conveyed by alternative transport, (for example dementia, physical disabilities or mental capacity issues).
- You have a condition whereby skilled assistance during the journey may be required, (for example severe epilepsy, dementia).
- You require a stretcher.
- You have a disability or condition that may result in risk or embarrassment yourself or others during transport, (for example severe epilepsy, dementia and mental capacity issues).
How do I now book non-emergency transport?
For your first visit and follow-up appointments to outpatient clinics, or locations, eligible patients must book transport through our locality central booking offices (SPA).
How do we decide if an escort can accompany you in the transport provided?
Unfortunately there is limited space in the transport we provide so only one escort (who is a friend, carer or relative) will be permitted under the following circumstances:
- The patient is under 16 years of age
- You have a medical condition that requires constant supervision
- You require a qualified carer to assist you at the destination
- You have communication difficulties that prevent you travelling alone and you require a suitably qualified carer to escort you
- If an escort has not been booked then, unfortunately they will be unable to accompany you
Which patients are not eligible for non-emergency transport?
You are not eligible for non-emergency patient transport if you:
- Have long-term mobility problems but normally have access to a vehicle or ordinarily make your own travel arrangements
- Have a social need but no medical condition that fits our eligibility criteria
- Cannot afford to pay for public transport or a taxi fare although we may be able to help you with public transport fares. Please see below, “Reclaiming the cost of your journey”
How do I reclaim the cost of my journey if I am not eligible for transport?
If you are not eligible for non-emergency patient transport, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your travel expenses under the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS). For further information around this and the criteria around claiming visit the NHS Choices website.
Please be advised that we can’t reimburse patients as the Trust doesn’t have a cashiers facility. Further information about reimbursement for travel costs and how they can be claimed back can be found on the NHS Choices website.
You can contact our central booking offices by calling 020 8937 7676 and team will be on hand to help and advise you through this process. This phone line will be staffed from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm). The line will ring through to a voicemail facility if the line is engaged. If you leave a voicemail message with your full name and contact number, our team will call you back.
Further information is also available in this Patient Transport leaflet.