What is patient transport?
Patient transport is an NHS-funded, non-emergency service offered to people who cannot get to hospital appointments because their health condition impacts on their ability to use routine transport such as cars, trains, buses and taxis. For example, patients may require medical assistance during the journey, which would not be available on public transport.
How do I book patient transport?
If you are registered with a GP in Bath and North East Somerset, you will need to call the local Patient Transport Advice Centre (PTAC) on 01278 727425 between 8.30am and 6.30pm, Monday – Friday to check whether you are eligible for NHS patient transport, and if you are, PTAC will book your transport for you. You will need your NHS number when you call.
All patients who call the PTAC to request non-emergency transport will be assessed against the National Eligibility Criteria, which you can read in full here.
If you are not eligible for NHS-funded patient transport, you may be able to access help getting to appointments from a community transport provider. You can find out more information about these providers here on the B&NES Council website.
What has changed recently?
All Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the South West aim to ensure that NHS-funded patient transport is provided in a fair way for those who need help getting to hospital appointments. Together, we spend over £31 million per year providing over 600,000 journeys to take patients to hospital or similar appointments.
In 2017, the CCGs in B&NES, Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire worked together to help develop a consistent approach to eligibility for patient transport. The National Eligibility Criteria (link above) were set in 2007, however it became clear since then that they were being applied differently in different regions.
The CCGs distributed a short patient/public questionnaire to help inform this process and that survey closed in November 2017. The responses were used to agree a way forward so that eligibility criteria would be applied consistently across the region.
Who provides non-emergency patient transport in B&NES?
At the moment, Arriva Transport Solutions provide NEPTS in Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire.
In December 2018, after a full procurement process, it was announced that from 1 June 2019, non-emergency patient transport services would be provided by E-zec Medical Transport Services – a family run company focused on delivering high quality, safe, effective transportation for patients to and from a healthcare setting. E-zec delivers services across the UK and currently provides non-emergency patient transport services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.