Accessibility

Patient transport services

Patient transport services

Non-urgent patient transport

Transport

It's the patient's responsibility to make their own travel arrangements to and from hospital, although the government do provide help to some groups of people.

 Patients who meet the Department of Health's criteria for non-urgent patient transport (this may include patients requiring medical assistance during the journey, and people with mobility problems requiring assistance with walking, or getting in and out of a vehicle), can get help with arranging car or ambulance transport to and from hospital. Contact the Patient Advice Centre for more

 information, on: 01278 727444. You will need to provide the following details when you call:

  • Name and address
  • Date of Birth 
  • Telephone or contact number 
  • GP Details 
  • Details of treatment 
  • Hospital you are attending 
  • Time & date of appointment and expected duration of appointment. 
  • Department & consultant details 
  • Type of appointment (i.e. outpatient, day case, discharge).

If you use the patient transport service, please:

  • Always wear appropriate outdoor clothing.Patient Transport 2
  • Be ready for collection at least one hour before your appointment time.
  • Let the Patient Advice Centre know if your condition improves or you no longer require transport – call them on: 01278 727444 between 9:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. When cancelling transport, please call at least 24 hours before your appointment.
  • Inform the Patient Advice Centre of any change of address.

And please be aware that:

  • The patient transport service is not a taxi service, and other pick-ups and drop-offs may be incorporated into your journey time. Pick-up times from patient’s homes could be much earlier than the appointment due to your driver’s schedule on the day.
  • On occasion transport may be delayed, it is therefore suggested that you bring food or money with you just in case, especially if you are a diabetic. 

Qualifying for patient transport services  

Patients must be medically unfit to travel by any other means, and have no alternative means of travelling to or from hospital. Please note: Elderly or weak patients do not automatically qualify.

Reimbursement of travel expenses

If you are not eligible for patient transport on medical grounds and are receiving certain benefits, you may instead be eligible for reimbursement of your travel expenses. To find out if you are: ask your local social security office, or come to our general office (in Duchess Building, opposite Costa Cafe) and pick up a claim form. Patients in receipt of the following can claim for help with travel expenses:  

  • Income Support  
  • Pension Credit (with guarantee credit)  
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance  
  • Patients who hold a current NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate  
  • Patients on a low income who have been issued with a HC2 or HC3 Certificate 

Public transport

For patients who do not qualify for transport on either medical or social grounds, there are a range of options available through Somerset County Council, these include: public transport, Slinky bus services, Taxilink, and community transport operators. For more details about these services, call Somerset Direct on 0845 345 9155.

More information

More information can be found in the leaflet HC11 "Are you entitled to help with health costs?" available from your social security office or post office. Details can also be found on the Department for Work and Pensions website.