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Hospital transport for patients in Dorset

From 1st October 2013 all transport provided for eligible NHS patients to NHS funded services for NHS treatment throughout Dorset is being provided by a new service called Patient Transport Services. Transport is provided to patients who are deemed medically eligible. The service is for non-urgent, planned transportation of patients whose medical condition is such that they require the skills or support of clinically trained PTS staff and/or their equipment on/after their journey.

Eligible patients are those:

• Where their medical condition and their mobility means that they require the skills or support of PTS staff on/after the journey or where it would be detrimental to their condition or recovery if they were to travel by other means;

• Recognised as a parent or guardian where children are being transported.

PTS could also be provided to a patient’s carer or escort where their particular skills and/or support are needed. This may be appropriate in the case of accompanying a person with a physical or mental incapacity, a vulnerable adult, or in the case of patients needing a translator. This would be agreed for each individual case at the time of booking the transport.

How to book transport

You or a person nominated on your behalf will be able to book transport directly through the Dorset Patient Transport Bureau (Dorset PTB) on our low-rate call number 0300 777 5555. It would be helpful when calling if you have the following details to hand:

• Your GP’s name and surgery details

• Your NHS number

The Dorset PTB is open Monday to Friday, 8am through to 6pm.

If you are not eligible for patient transport Dorset PTB can direct you to alternative methods of public and volunteer transport. If you are on a low income, you may be able to get financial help from the “Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme” (HTCS).

More information about PTS is available at www.dorsetptb.co.uk or by emailing info@dorsetptb.co.uk .

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 these limits, 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 0845 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. Further information about the Low Income Scheme are also available by calling 0300 330 1343.

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