The NHS has limited resources and providing and arranging non emergency patient transport for patients to attend hospital appointments, must be reserved only for those whose medical conditions warrants it. In general patients are expected to make their own arrangements for travelling to and from healthcare premises, and this means that patients requesting the service must now meet the required criteria which is detailed below.
Patients attending NHS treatment do not have an automatic right to Non Emergency Patient Transport if they do fully meet the eligibility criteria.
In keeping with other NHS organisations we can now only arrange non emergency transport for those patients who have a clinically stated medical need that prevents them using private or public transport.
In future, our reception team will need to ensure you meet the set criteria before agreeing to arrange your transport and will enquire if you are able to make your own way or can make alternative arrangement via friends or family.
We appreciate this is a change to current process for booking transport but we hope that you appreciate the limited resources within the NHS mean that we can now only provide services such as Non Emergency Patient Transport to those patients who are most in need.
Where you are eligible for transport, please ensure that you book your transport at least 48 hours prior to your appointment, we regret that we are unable to meet requests in a shorter time frame and the booking will not be accepted by the ambulance service.
QUALIFYING CRITERIA FOR NON EMERGENCY TRANSPORT SERVICES
Transport can be provided for patients who
- Require to be moved on a stretcher. Defined as, “the patient needs to be lying down on a stretcher within the ambulance” or have a physical reason for using the stretcher facility e.g leg in cast
- Are in a wheelchair and cannot transfer in and out of a vehicle without assistance and who have no other way of getting to hospital
- The patient attending for treatment is likely to have severe physical side effects following treatment that would impede driving e.g renal dialysis or oncology treatment.
- Have a diagnosed disability (physical or psychological) which makes them medically unfit to travel by any other means, and who have no alternative method of travelling to or from hospital
- For medical reasons, the patient requires a trained escort. Normally designated ambulance staff will escort the patient to and from hospital.
In most cases if the patient meets the above criteria we ask relatives or friends wishing to accompany the patient to their appointment to meet them at their destination. In certain limited circumstances ONE relative escort may be allowed, our reception team will be happy to advise.
For more information, click here to read the full eligibility criteria.