Alie it’s certainly not automatic although local criteria may vary. A relative of mine with severe disability who suddenly also became blind, was told by his GP if he was able to get in a taxi ( with significant assistance) that he could not have transport.. Ask your GP - who will know the local eligibility criteria and can request transport if eligible. There is help for people on low incomes to help with the cost of attending hospital appointments. You might also be able to get a blue badge.
The NHS is to diagnose and treat people, not to provide free transport in my opinion. A taxi will take a person to hospital appointments as will a volunteer transport scheme. Ask around around about that and you’ll probably find there is a scheme in your area.
There is limited hospital transport available in Wales, Alie2Oxon but I guess you're in England. I'm sorry you're struggling and yes, there should be free transport, either by the non- emergency ambulance or volunteer car service, subject to certain criteria being met. If you are in Oxfordshire here is a link: livewell.oxfordshire.gov.uk/Search?CategoryId=143&SM=ServiceSearch
Sometimes a taxi is unaffordable, here it could entail a 38 mile round trip and the cost could be prohibitive.
When I had a course of outpatient treatment and had to go in twice a week I asked about this. The social worker at the hospital said there was a mini coach but as they were collecting/dropping off several people it might take a lot longer than if I simply got a taxi or cadged a lift. In the end I paid for a taxi for convenience. I dont really want a scenic tour of Manchester or to waste an entire day on a 30 minute appointment. I spent over £200 on taxis that summer.
That's the problem if several patients are picked up by the non-emergency ambulance transport service, with appointments at different times. But I did know people who volunteered to transport patients in their cars, usually one or two at a time, to their appointments.
someone i know cannot travel in ordinary seats, has to be transported on stretcher, with v difficult and uncomfortable transfers from bed. despite explaining all the needs and repeat trips, it never goes according to plan. needs 4 crew lift, they arrive with 2, assess and say will have to call another crew. an extra hour for them to arrive. they are not ambulance personnel, but a company that usually delivers parcels. and it shows.
It depends on the Hospital and the department treating you. A few years ago when I needed radiotherapy at a hospital some 30 miles away the oncologist recommended that I use Hospital transport. This was partly because he felt that it would be too tiring for me to drive daily and would not want to impose on family but he also said that if the service wasn't used - it would be lost for good. It was sometimes a faff but the drivers were all lovely people and patients using this service were given a cafe card to get free brews in the cafe while waiting either for treatment or for transport. A colleague had a very poorly husband who was receiving chemo and was spending a fortune on taxis (as she didn't drive and her DH was too ill) and had no idea that such a service was available. She asked the next time they had an appointment and were so relieved to know that this service was available - it was a relief and certainly helped when their finances were so stretched due to his treatment. So do ask - PALS maybe able to help if your GP/consultant can't but it isn't an entitlement unfortunately.
just ring the hosp and ask for hosp transport. they will take you through the procedure. it's got nothing to do with GPs. around here anyway. they and the hosp docs thought it was part of the ambulance service. hasn't been for many years. they thought i was joking when i mentioned dhl.
Most areas have an ambulance service which includes a patient transport service for non emergency transport. Call them and they will go through the eligibility criteria with you before you book the journey. Each area has differing criteria to be eligible.
Ask your G,P we have volunteer drivers in Cumbria. When DH needed one and it was not available they sent a taxi that was used to doing the job and he even volunteered to get a wheelchair and get DH into the hospital reception desk.
My father was unable to use a car as very frail and couldn’t be loaded in or got out. I spoke direct to South Central Ambulance Service, who helped transport him to and from for transfusions, eventually by bed, for many months. His GP surgery were still insisting he wouldn’t be able to access transport, right to the end.
I work in NHS in Glasgow and patients have to phone a number no sooner than ten days before the date of the appointment. They have to do this themselves and it is nothing to do with the hospital, GP or anyone else. I know this because I recently called them to get information for a patient I was trying to arrange an appointment for and he wasn’t able to do the fact finding himself.