Changes on the way for transport to and from hospital

Patient TransportIssued by:
Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation NHS Trust
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Devon Primary Care Trust

Next month will see a new system introduced across Exeter, Mid, East, West and North Devon to give patients more options to get to hospital.

From 4 June, patients who do not need medical attention during a journey will be encouraged to use transport better suited to their individual need. This will help improve the non-emergency ambulance service for those who really need it.

The move is the first step of a modernisation programme to ensure that patients use the most suitable transport to get to health appointments. It follows extensive consultation with councils and other local representatives.

It has always been the patient’s responsibility to organise their own travel to hospital.

Under the new scheme, patients will be given advice and information to make it easier for them to do so.

A phone number in each area of the county will be available to help patients find out more about their options for getting to hospital, including services run by community transport associations (CTAs) with their teams of volunteer drivers. Journeys will be subject to driver availability.

There will be no immediate change for people who go repeatedly to hospital – for example, renal dialysis patients who may need treatment up to three times a week.

At the same time, the local NHS will be raising awareness of the Hospital Travel Cost Scheme which enables people on a range of benefits and/or with low incomes to get help with transport costs.

Currently, many people who are eligible do not take advantage of the scheme.

People aged over 60 or with disabilities can also claim a pass for free bus travel.

The Single Points of Contact for each part of Devon have detailed information on all transport options for getting to hospital, including:

  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Taxis
  • Shuttle services

For more information, please call your local Single Point of Contact:

  • East Devon, Exeter and Teignbridge     01404 46529
  • Mid Devon     01884 242099
  • North Devon     01271 314332
  • South Hams and West Devon     01404 46529

More information about the countywide bus pass can be found on the Devon County Council website at:

More on the Hospital Travel Cost Scheme is available from local Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS):

  • North Devon: 01271 314090
  • Exeter (RD&E) 01392 402093
  • Plymouth 01752 517683
  • Devon PCT 01392 687152

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Posted in News.

Last updated: March 6, 2018