Non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) services play a really important role in helping eligible patients travel to, and from, healthcare services where they have a medical need for ambulance transport or require the support of patient transport staff.
The aim of NEPT services is to provide eligible patients with safe, timely and comfortable NHS funded transport. It can help eligible patients get to and from healthcare services this could be for:
- Patient transport to or from a hospital, satellite or community services;
- Transfer of patients between healthcare services; or
- Helping patients return to their home or place of residence following a stay in hospital.
It is a patient’s responsibility to make their own way to and from healthcare services, unless there is a medical reason why they cannot use private or public transport. This includes: walking, cycling, bus, train, taxi or community/voluntary transport schemes; use of mobility cars, lifts from family, carers, neighbours or other support networks; or a combination of these.
New non-emergency patient transport service
From 1 May 2017, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust will be providing a new non-emergency patient transport service.
How will I know if I’m eligible?
Your eligibility for transport is based on your medical need and risks to your health. It also helps to identify your mobility class, determine the type of vehicle that is required and level of support required from transport staff.
Your eligibility will be checked by booking staff every time you book; this might be different to the service that you’ve been used to. You will be asked a series of questions when you call the booking office. If someone is calling on your behalf, they will be required to answer the questions in order for your eligibility to be checked. If you are not eligible for free transport, you will be given details of local alternative services that may be available to you.
Your eligibility will be assessed by booking staff in accordance with the Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull Eligibility Policy.
How is transport arranged?
You will be responsible for booking your own transport, or you can ask a family member, carer or friend to do it on your behalf.
When booking, the following information will be requested:
- Date of birth
- NHS number
- Pick-up address (including postcode)
- GP name and practice address
- Date, time and location of your appointment
The telephone booking line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you require an interpreter, this can be arranged during the booking process.
Useful telephone numbers
Patient booking number: 0800 035 6511 (to make a new booking)
Patient transport enquires: 0121 307 9118 (to discuss an existing booking)
A patient charter has been developed to ensure that patients:
- Understand what to expect from the service; and
- Can access the same level of service across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull;
You can read the patient charter here.
For more information
Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme
Patients who do not qualify for NHS funded transport but who are on low incomes may be eligible for assistance towards travel costs to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. You can get more information about the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme at your local NHS healthcare service or by visiting NHS Choices. This will include information on how you can make a claim to have your travel costs reimbursed if you’re eligible.