As now, if you are unable to get to or from one of our hospitals, there are a number of options available and these will continue in the future. There is also a shuttle bus service which runs between the three hospital sites.
If your reason for going to hospital is not an emergency, you will normally be expected to make your own way there. Wherever possible, patients are advised to make their own arrangements with a relative or friend, or to use public transport.
If there is difficulty in meeting the cost of transport to and from hospital, you may be able to claim a refund of the cost of travelling under the ‘Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme’ (HTCS). This is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme and was set up to provide financial assistance to those patients who do not have a medical need for ambulance transport, but who require assistance with their travel costs to attend NHS appointments. For more information please visit https://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcosts/pages/travelcosts.aspx or ask your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you to hospital.
Alternatively, some people are eligible for non-emergency patient transport services.
These services provide free transport to and from hospital for:
- people whose condition means they need additional medical support during their journey
- people who find it difficult to walk
- parents or guardians of children who are being transported
To find out if you are eligible for patient transport services and how to access it, you will need to speak to your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you to hospital. We do understand that travel and transport are important considerations for people and that any change to our hospital services would have an impact on travel for some of our patients, visitors and staff. Travel and transport were key factors in developing our proposed model of hospital care and deciding our preferred option.
We have undertaken a Travel Impact Analysis to understand the impact any changes to our hospital services would have on patients across Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton and you can read this on the Improving Healthcare Together website (www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk).