Information for Patients travelling to local Hospitals

It is expected that patients will generally use their own transport to attend hospital appointments.  However, the information below sets out what transport options are available for patients to assist them in accessing the local hospitals.

The NHS will provide a FREE transport service to those patients who have a medical need and meet any of the prescribed criteria:

NHS Patient Transport Service:

  • Need prescribed oxygen
  • Need intravenous support
  • Can only be moved on a stretcher
  • Cannot use a car or public transport
  • Dependent upon medical equipment or aids that cannot fit into a bus or taxi
  • Patient has an illness, condition or disability which stops them using a car, bus or taxi unaided
  • Patient is receiving treatment which leaves them debilitated so cannot use car, bus, taxi unaided
  • No escort allowed to accompany patient unless they meet the criteria as medical escort.

Transport Costs:

Patients may be able to get financial help from the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme if they meet certain criteria with regard to low income, receiving certain benefits and conditions.  If the patient is receiving  benefits or allowances, the full travel costs can be reimbursed, based on the cheapest form of public transport available.  Taxis are not normally included and only funded in exceptional circumstances. 

Claims are made at the NHS hospital or clinic at the time of appointment upon production of relevant documents and claim forms which are ordered over the phone from NHS Help with Health Costs on 0845 850 1166.

Patients enquiring about transport options can contact the Patient Transport Advice Centre on 01278727444 on weekdays between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm or email to see if they are eligible for free transport on either medical or financial grounds.  If patients are not eligible for free transport, they will be directed to Somerset County Council’s Transporting Somerset Team on 01823 357688 for alternative transport information.