Transport to and from hospital
It depends on:
- whether you need to go to hospital in an emergency
- your medical condition and circumstances if it’s not an emergency
In an emergency
In a medical emergency, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. A medical emergency is when someone is in a critical condition or life-threatening situation. You will not have to pay to be taken to hospital in an emergency.
In Gloucestershire the 999 service is provided by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
Non-emergency hospital visits
If you’re going to hospital for non-emergency tests or treatment, you will normally be expected to make your own way there.
Try to get a friend or relative to take you to hospital and collect you after you’ve been discharged.
Non-emergency patient transport services
Some people are eligible for non-emergency patient transport services (PTS). These services provide free transport to and from hospital for people who have a medical need for it.
The NHS determines that patients are eligible for free non-emergency transport when:
The medical condition of the patient is such that they require the skills or support of PTS staff during the journey and where it would be detrimental to the patient’s condition or recovery if they were to travel by other means: and/or
The patient’s medical condition impacts on their mobility to such an extent that they would be unable to access healthcare or it would be detrimental to the patient’s condition or recovery to travel by other means.
In Gloucestershire this transport is provided by Arriva Transport Solutions Ltd. (Arriva). If you think you might be eligible to receive non-emergency patient transport, call Arriva direct on 0845 600 6068.
You will be asked some questions about yourself or the person you are booking transport for and they will be able to tell you if you/they are eligible. Arriva’s assessment will be based on Department of Health Guidelines.
If you are eligible they will take some further details to make sure the right type of transport and support is provided and take your booking.
If you are ineligible for patient transport services and are unable to access other travel options, community transport may be able to help you but you will be charged for the journey.
Healthwatch Gloucestershire is not a transport provider, but may be able to signpost you to these alternative methods of transport.
Help with Travel Costs
If you are on a low income or benefits you might be able to reclaim your transport costs to and from the hospital or other NHS premises, through the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme (HTCS).
There are conditions you must meet to be eligible for a refund under this scheme. For more information see NHS Choices – Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) or The Department of Health leaflet HC11.
To claim your transport costs you will need to complete form HC5(T) and send to the address on the form. Once your entitlement has been confirmed the hospital (or the CCG) will arrange payment direct to you. Cash payments are not normally made on the day of your appointment at any of the Gloucestershire hospital sites. If you do not have sufficient funds to pay your travel costs upfront you should contact the hospital or the CCG as soon as possible after you have received your appointment letter to discuss if it will be possible to provide you with an advance payment.
The CCG has developed a fact sheet about the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme and explains how to make a claim. If you would like a paper copy of the Help With Travel Costs Fact Sheet contact PALS on 0800 0151 548
Concessionary Bus Passes
The CCG is working with Gloucestershire County Council to improve transport options for everyone in Gloucestershire. One of the things we are looking at is the use of concessionary bus passes.
If you are eligible to reclaim your bus fares under the HTCS we might be able to provide you with a concessionary bus pass so that you do not have to pay fares on the day. If you are interested in this option please contact the CCG.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Contact Numbers
- Gloucestershire Hospitals (for Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General) – 0800 019 3282
- Gloucestershire Care Services (for Community Hospitals) – 0300 4221 8313
- 2gether Trust – 01452 894072
- Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group – 0800 0151 548
Do you live in Stroud District? Click here for more information about the Stroud District: Transport to Health Survey