Information for Patients in Cheddar travelling to local Hospitals
It is expected that patients will generally use their own transport to attend hospital appointments. However, the information below sets out what transport options are available for patients to assist them in accessing the local hospitals.
The NHS will provide a FREE transport service to those patients who have a medical need and meet any of the prescribed criteria:
NHS Patient Transport Service:
· Need prescribed oxygen
· Need intravenous support
· Can only be moved on a stretcher
· Cannot use a car or public transport
· Dependent upon medical equipment or aids that cannot fit into a bus or taxi
· Patient has an illness, condition or disability which stops them using a car, bus or taxi unaided
· Patient is receiving treatment which leaves them debilitated so cannot use car, bus, taxi unaided
· No escort allowed to accompany patient unless they meet the criteria as medical escort.
Patients may be able to get financial help from the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme if they meet certain criteria with regard to low income, receiving certain benefits and conditions. If the patient is receiving benefits or allowances, the full travel costs can be reimbursed, based on the cheapest form of public transport available. Taxis are not normally included and only funded in exceptional circumstances.
Claims are made at the NHS hospital or clinic at the time of appointment upon production of relevant documents and claim forms which are ordered over the phone from NHS Help with Health Costs on 0845 850 1166.
Patients enquiring about transport options can contact the Patient Transport Advice Centre on 01278727444 on weekdays between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm or email email@example.com to see if they are eligible for free transport on either medical or financial grounds. If patients are not eligible for free transport, they will be directed to Somerset County Council’s Transporting Somerset Team on 01823 357688 for alternative transport information.
Other Transport Options
Public transport to Bristol, Taunton and Weston-super-Mare is available but the journey can be time consuming. Up-to-date public transport information is available from Traveline, Tel no: 0871 2002233, or http://www.traveline.info/ .
Access to Southmead Hospital : For patients to access Southmead Hospital and who do not want to drive across Bristol, there is now a bus service that leaves Long Ashton Park and Ride on a half-hourly schedule and returns.
Information on this service is below:
Mendip Community Transport : Despite the name, this service covers Cheddar and there are two options.
Hospital Car Service : This is a door-to-door service provided by volunteer drivers using their own cars. There is a charge for this service, but bus pass holders receive a reduction. Contact Mendip Community Transport on 01749 880613.
This service is short of volunteer drivers in the Cheddar area. Volunteers are always welcome - if you are able to help, please contact the Operations Manager on 01749 880613.
Sedgemoor Slinky : This door to door transport can be very useful for those who qualify to use it, with its primary aim being to help people in areas without regular public bus services access local services such as GP surgeries.
Two minibuses, one covers north of Sedgemoor and the other the South. MCT operates this service under contract from Somerset County Council and provides door to door transport for individuals who cannot use conventional public transport. Patients need to register using this form. The booking line is on 01749 880948. Electronic copies of the new Slinky service leaflets, registration forms and further community transport information can also be found on SCC's website or by calling Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.
Sedgemoor Community Transport : This is a similar service to Mendip Community Transport. Patients need to register. Further details on 01278 434881.
Patients who need substantial appointments, for example they need to get to Oncology on a daily basis, transport if required is arranged through the relevant hospital departments. This can differ from hospital to hospital – there can be reduced car parking fees or at one hospital transport is arranged through the Red Cross.
Transport information is constantly being updated and if anyone has relevant details that would assist Cheddar Medical Centre in helping their patients access transport for hospital appointments, please let the Practice Manager know.