New booking system for hospital patient transport
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust is introducing a new centralised booking scheme for patients wanting to use NHS patient transport to get to the Trust's hospitals.
Currently hospital transport is booked through GP surgeries for first referrals. From 18th September staff will be based at NNUH to provide a new centralised booking service. Patients can ring a new central booking number that will be advertised in GP surgeries.
Access to hospital transport is based on medical need and by centralising the booking process staff can ensure that those with the most need can get to our hospitals without difficulty. Anyone who is not eligible for the patient transport will be referred to alternative methods of transport including public transport (over 20 buses an hour serve the university hospital), plus voluntary and community transport schemes.
Patients receiving certain benefits can claim back their travelling expenses to hospitals and patients who receive Disability Living Allowance (Mobility Component) are not eligible for NHS patient transport.
NHS patient transport, provided by the East of England Ambulance service, is there for patients who do not have access to private transport, are unable to get to hospital by public transport, or with the help of a relative of friend, and have the following medical needs:
- A mental health problem, illness or a learning disability as a result of a severe mental impairment
- Undergoing treatment with significant physical side effects
- Severe eyesight problems either short or long term
- Severe mobility problems as a result of illness or injury to lower limbs
- Severe mobility problems as a result of heart, lung or breathing difficulties
- Uncontrolled illness, for example, uncontrolled epilepsy
- A child with disability or special needs
Simon Wardale, NNUH travel co-ordinator, said: “We want to make sure that patients receive a seamless service when they book NHS patient transport. By centralising transport co-ordination, we can ensure that the people who most need transport can access it. We can also direct non-eligible patients to the excellent volunteer and community transport schemes. We need to make sure that the transport budget is being spent appropriately on patients who have a medical need.
“Patients will be offered more choice in the future about where they can have their appointment, and we need to ensure that we build a responsive transport system that can cope with demand. Last year we spent £2.5 million on hospital transport and we need to make sure that this money is spent appropriately. By working in close partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust we can improve on existing transport services to our hospitals.”