Non-emergency patient transport

Since November 2017, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has provided a patient-led booking service for everyone registered with a GP in the area served by West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (WHCCG).  

People should call the dedicated patient booking line to book non-emergency patient transport to their first outpatient appointment. If they need follow up outpatient appointments or tests they will need to ask the clinician responsible for their care to assess if they are still eligible for and book the transport. 

RBCH notice

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals (RBCH): 
  • For patients attending RBCH only bookings for NEPTS for both first referrals and follow up appointments can be made and should be requested by the patient/carer/representative by contacting the SCAS NEPTS contact centre on: 0300 123 9992
  • Patients requiring transport to RBCH for follow up appointments should be informed that this is patient led and that they will need to book this transport

Who is eligible for Non-Emergency Patient Transport?

The NHS has limited resources so this is reserved for patients who:

  • Need professional support from patient transport staff during or after their journey
  • Have health issues that impact on their mobility and prevent them from travelling to or from a hospital appointment by any other means.

Eligibility criteria is applicable to all patients (adults and children) registered with a GP practice within West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and is strictly enforced to safeguard the service for the most vulnerable patients. 

PTS eligibility criteria table

Eligible

May be eligible

Not Eligible

  • The patient is being transferred from and to an NHS facility and requires medical assistance during the journey.

  • The patient requires continuous oxygen therapy, medical gases or intravenous support during transit.

  • The patient requires a stretcher or sling / hoist during transit.

  • Patients receiving renal dialysis are eligible but should be offered the choice of arranging their own transport.  Transport should not be automatically offered.  

 

  • Patients attending for active treatment or a procedure such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or eye surgery for example are not automatically eligible but may be eligible if:

  1. travelling by private or public transport would have a serious detrimental effect on their condition.

  • The patient is unable to stand unaided without considerable support from another person and cannot manage any journey in private or public transport for the purposes of daily living.

  • The patient currently has a medical condition or disability that means they are unable to travel by private or public transport for the purposes of daily living.

 

 

  • Patients who are capable of walking, getting in and out of vehicles or transferring to and from a wheelchair with minimal assistance: 

  • These are people who do not require support from patient transport personnel and therefore can use private or public transport. 

  • A patient receiving mobility allowance is NOT automatically eligible for NHS funded transport.

  • Travelling by private or public transport would NOT have a serious detrimental effect on the patient’s medical condition.

  • Patients who are unwilling to pay for private or public transport or associated car parking costs.

Escorts

  • An appropriately qualified carer, relative or friend able to provide the necessary level of assistance may travel with the patient if the following applies:

  • The patient is under 16 years of age - then one relative escort will be permitted.

  • The patient has a mental health condition, a learning disability or long term confusion that means they require assistance during the journey or at their destination, or their medical condition is such that they require constant supervision to ensure their safety.

  • A carer, relative or friend cannot use PTS to travel to their own hospital appointment by virtue of the person they care for being eligible for PTS.  If the carer, relative or friend meets the eligibility criteria to travel by PTS in their own right, then they will need to make alternative care arrangements so that the person they care for is safe whilst they are out.

If patients are not eligible for non-emergency patient  transport, other transport options should be considered including:

  • Public transport
  • Transport provided by a voluntary organisation.

If patients are unable to afford these options financial assistance may be available from the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme.

How to book?

To book transport please contact 0300 790 0143. You will need your NHS number, which you can get from your GP or clinic. An assessment will be undertaken on the telephone using WHCCG eligibility criteria.  

Appeals

The eligibility criteria is quite clear, but we do recognise that it may mean some patients who previously had access to NEPTS may no longer be eligible. SCAS will also regularly review patients accessing NEPTS to ensure they remain eligible.  If a decision has been taken that a patient is not eligible for NEPTS and if you/ they feel they have special or exceptional circumstances that are not covered in the eligibility criteria, then an appeal may be made via email to SouthCSU.PTS@nhs.net or 023 8062 7615.