NHS Funded Patient Transport
The new NHS Non Emergency Patient Transport policy has now been published, see full details here. (This link takes you to NHS Kernow- patient transport information. The new policy is called NHS Funded Transport Policy, on the right of the page.)
You still have the choice to travel by air or sea, for both day trips and longer stays. There is no time limit on patient travel, other than a 72 hour limit when travelling with an escort, this hasn’t changed.
Some things have changed:
For IOS patients, air travel will only be booked via Lands End. The travel warrant will no longer cover the shuttle to Penzance. You can book the shuttle when booking your flight, but will have to pay separately.
For all patients, the NHS subsidy towards TAPS cars has been withdrawn, and TAPS will now charge the full cost of a round trip.
Previously, NHS funded transport has been available for escorts of expectant Mums attending a 20 week scan, and escorts of patients attending a ‘two week wait’ appointment, where an initial diagnosis will be discussed. This is now only funded for people on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, as set out in the Health Care Travel Costs Scheme.
Travel warrants will not be issued for a scheduled flight to access urgent diagnosis and treatmet, i.e. X-ray.
We have been told that the Clinical Commissioning Group will keep the policy under review. Healthwatch IOS will be discussing the impact of elements of the policy in in our ongoing work with services and through the IOS Medical Travel and Transport Group. See a summary of our concerns in 'Our Work'/Medical Travel; and our formal response to the policy, here.
All queries about individual bookings should be directed to the Centralised Booking Office for Patient Transport.