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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 can claim help with travel costs if you or your partner (including civil partner) receive any of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Working Tax Credit (WTC) with Child Tax Credit (CTC)
    • WTC with a disability element or a severe disability element
    • CTC but you're not eligible for WTC
    • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
    • You receive Universal Credit and meet the criteria

     
  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 (Monday to Friday 9-4pm).

 

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 701270 East Surrey Travel
Elmbridge Dial-a-Ride 01372 474944 Elmbridge Council
Epsom & Ewell "Route Call" 01372 732000 Epsom Council
Guildford Dial-a-Ride 01483 458055 Guildford Council
Mole Valley Community Transport 01372 383333 Mole Valley Council
Reigate and Banstead Buses 4U 01883 701270 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

From Monday April 1st 2024, the non-emergency patient transport service will be provided by EMED Patient Care to eligible patients living in Surrey.

Who can use it?

Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services, sometimes shortened to NEPTS, is a specialist service provided by the NHS to transport patients in and out of NHS healthcare settings such as hospitals.

It is a limited resource made available for free to those who meet specific medical mobility needs, which include the need to travel by stretcher, wheelchair or have regular visits to renal dialysis.

NEPTS is an essential cog in the healthcare system and transports millions of patients each year. To ensure these limited specialist resources are used by those most in need, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and NHS Hospital Trusts apply an ‘NHS national eligibility criteria’ to determine who can use the local NEPTS service. Sometimes, NHS Trusts apply regional variances to this criteria depending on the geographical and demographic needs.

EMED Patient Care and all NEPTS providers are bound by this eligibility criteria and apply them to anyone who wishes to make a booking. This makes sure only those that have a genuine reason to travel on an ambulance are allowed to do so. It also ensures the limited specialist resources are used by those most in need.

A guide for patients to the national NHS eligibility criteria for non-emergency patient transport. www.emedgroup.co.uk

Talk to us today to find out how we can help www.emedgroup.co.uk
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Patient transport is available for those who require assistance in getting to their appointments or place of care, because:

  • They have a medical need such as requiring oxygen or specialist equipment to travel safely.
  • They have limited mobility (e.g. needing a wheelchair or stretcher).
  • They have a cognitive or sensory impairment.

You can find out more at this NHS website: How to organise transport to and from hospital

Financial hardship doesn’t qualify people for free patient transport. But there are other avenues if you are unable to afford to travel to your appointment.

If you are referred for specialist NHS treatment or tests, some people can claim for hospital transport costs through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS). Read more: Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS)

 

Signposting to other local travel resources

If you are not eligible for NEPTS, our friendly call centre operators can signpost you to other available resources in the area such as community transport, volunteer drivers and the HTCS. If you require further information or are unclear on how to make a booking please speak with your GP, healthcare professional or local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Read this information as a poster.

You can also read the Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information please visit www.emedgroup.co.uk/surrey, Bookings and enquiries: 0300 131 2400

 

Wheelchair Assistance

If you have any particular needs, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01932 723553 between 10am and 3pm Mon-Fri and we will make arrangements to help you.

All clinics are wheelchair friendly and all areas can be accessed via a lift. Wheelchairs are available on arrival - please ask at main reception.

Relevant up-to-date information regarding access to the hospitals can be found here:

 

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