Hospital transport for patients who live in Dorset
The service is only available to patients who have no other way of getting to hospital.
• The Hospital Transport Scheme should be the last resort for transport and not the first.
• Could a friend, neighbour, or relative give you a lift to hospital for your appointment?
• You can plan your journey to hospital by public transport at www.transport-direct.info.
Non emergency patient transport for patients that have a medical need
If you are unable to get to the hospital for your appointment you may be eligible for transport provided by the hospital. This is available following the guidelines from The Department of Health these are available from their website www.dh.gov.uk
Who decides if I can get transport to my appointment? – Transport is authorised by your GP who will decide whether you have a medical condition that qualifies you to receive support to get your appointment. They will also decide whether you should travel in an ambulance, wheelchair-car or car.
How do I arrange transport for my first visit? – If you think that you have a medical need that means you need help getting to your next hospital appointment and you cannot travel by any other means, you will need to call your GP surgery. If your GP decides that you do qualify for support they will book transport for your next hospital appointment in Dorset.
Travelling with an escort or companion and other special requirements? – Your GP will determine if you need someone to assist you whilst you are attending your hospital appointment. If you think that it is essential for your wellbeing that you travel with an escort or have any other special travel requirements please talk to your GP, who can then advise the hospital that you are attending, of these details when the first transport booking is made.
When will my transport arrive? – You should be ready for your transport to arrive one hour before your appointment time. For journeys that take longer than 30 minutes please allow additional time.
What happens when I get to the hospital? – If you need assistance to get to the ward or department on arrival at the hospital please advise the driver. Wheelchairs are available when you get to the hospital.
What happens after my appointment? – After your appointment the ambulance staff will return automatically one hour after your appointment time. If you know that your appointment will take longer than one hour than please tell the department that is booking your transport so they can inform the ambulance service. For return car journeys you will need to ask reception staff or use one of the hospital telephones to let the car service know that you are ready to go home.
Cancelling transport – If your hospital appointment is cancelled you must advise the hospital to cancel your transport.
What happens if my transport requirements change? – If your transport requirements change please advise your GP of the change when you receive your next hospital appointment. A transport booking for your change of needs can then be issued by the GP to the hospital that you are attending.
Transport for follow up appointments – If you need transport for follow up appointments you will need to contact the hospital that you are attending. The hospital staff will then follow the instructions about your transport previously provided by your GP. If your follow up appointment is at a hospital different to your first appointment you will need to ask your GP to inform that hospital of your travel needs.
Useful contact numbers –
Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals: 01202 303626 – for follow up appointments ask the department that you are attending.
Poole Hospital – telephone the transport office for all queries including follow up appointments.
Dorset County Hospital: 01305 255140.
Help paying for transport to hospital due to low income
How do I make a low income claim?
The NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS) may be able to assist you with NHS costs. The scheme covers:
• Prescription costs
• Dental costs
• Eye care costs
• Healthcare travel costs
• Wigs and fabric supports
You can apply for the scheme if your income, savings, investments or property (not including your home) do not exceed the qualifying capital limit of £16,000 or £23,500 if you live permanently in a care home.
Depending on your circumstances, you can receive “full help” (HC2 certificate) or “partial help” (HC3 certificate). You will qualify for full help if your income is less than or equal to the limit above or only exceeds these limits by no more than half the current prescription charge. If your income exceeds these limits, you may be entitled to partial help.
The rules governing who is eligible are broadly the same as those for Income Support. However, the assessment also takes into account council tax and housing costs, so you may also get help even though you don’t qualify for Income Support.
You don’t need to apply if you or your partner:
• Get Income Support
• Get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Get income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
• Are named on or entitled to an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
as these benefits will already entitle you to help with NHS costs.
To apply for an HC2 or HC3 certificate you will need to complete an HC1 form and send it off in the envelope provided. You can obtain an HC1 form from Job Centre Plus offices, hospitals, your GP surgery, your optician or dentist. You can also make a claim and find further information by contacting 0345 850 1166 to speak to an adviser who can help you complete the form, send it to you to sign and return in the envelope provided. Information and online forms are also available at www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcosts . Certificates are valid for between six months and five years, depending on your circumstances.