Getting to a hospital or medical appointment
If you’re going to the hospital for an appointment, tests or treatment, you’ll normally be expected to make your own way there.
You could get a friend or relative to take you to the hospital and collect you afterwards.
NHS funded patient transport
You may be eligible for free non-emergency patient transport. These services provide transport to and from hospitals for people who have medical needs for it.
You can find out if you are entitled to NHS-free hospital transport by phoning the NHS Patient Transport Advice Centre on 01278 727444 between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday.
Transport services have to be booked at least two days before your appointment.
In Somerset, patient transport services are provided by Ezec, Somerset Council’s Transporting Somerset, and the British Red Cross.
Refunds of hospital transport costs
You may be able to claim a refund for the cost of transport to the hospital or other NHS premises through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme if you
- Are not eligible for patient transport services
- Cannot meet the cost of travelling to the hospital
- Cannot get a friend or relative to take you
There are conditions you must meet to be eligible for a refund under this scheme. For more information, see the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme page on the NHS website.
Public and Community Transport
If you are not eligible for NHS-funded patient transport, Transporting Somerset has lots of public transport options.
Residents of Somerset who are disabled or cannot drive for medical reasons are entitled to a concessionary bus pass which provides free or reduced-cost bus travel at certain times of the day and is encouraged to use Better Journey Cards to let the driver know they may need additional help.
There are also Community Transport services in Somerset that provide transport for community groups and people whose needs are not met by normal public transport. There are various schemes, depending on where you live. The schemes offer a mixed fleet of vehicles, all with disabled access. They also provide advice about transport for Somerset residents who do not qualify for free NHS hospital transport.