Advice leaflet (pdf)
Making your travel arrangements
Patients are asked to travel as independently as possible to and from health care, so that travel support can be given to those that need it most.
This page provides you with information on all of the transport options available as well as advice on how to choose the best one for you. You should also read any information with your appointment letter or check with the hospital or doctor.
You have the following options:
- Public transport
- Using your own car or having a lift with friends and family
- Community transport and voluntary car schemes
- NHS-supported non-emergency transport
- Set times and dates that suit you. Think ahead, if you are going to a venue for the first time and allow some extra time to park or find the correct department. You can ask for appointments at times to suit the transport options which are available to you and to minimise your costs. Staff will try to accommodate you if possible.
- Routes, connections and times are available from: My Devon on 0845 155 1004, or visit journeydevon.info
Community transport and voluntary car schemes
These services are available to people unable to access public transport due to where they live or because of physical difficulties. Schemes often use volunteer drivers, provide cars or wheelchair-accessible transport and may be able to give some assistance to passengers from their house to the car and back.
Advance booking is always recommended. They make a charge based on mileage, payment is usually required at the start of the journey and receipts are given so eligible patients can reclaim costs of some journeys. Some schemes also make a booking charge – this will not be refunded.
Exeter and East Devon ……….. 01404 46529
Mid Devon …………………………. 01884 242 099
North Devon and Torridge ……. 01271 314 332
Plymouth …………………………… 0845 053 9100
Some taxi companies have wheelchair-accessible vehicles. One fare covers you and your friends/family travelling to support you and it takes you door to door which is often the quickest option. Ask friends, neighbours and community transport for recommendations.
NHS supported patient transport
Transport may be available to patients who have a current physical or mental health condition or learning disability such that they require the skill or support of Patient Transport Services staff to leave their home or on the journey or where it would be detrimental to the patient’s condition or recovery if they were to travel by other means.
How to book
- Patients can make bookings by phone – if possible the patient should make the call, but friends or carers can assist.
- Patients are encouraged to book between 2 weeks and 48 hours ahead of their appointment.
- Patients will be asked a set of questions to assess their eligibility each time they book.
- If appointments are cancelled or changed make sure travel plans are also changed.
- If you wish to appeal against a decision, please ask to speak to the service manager.
Frequent journeys to NHS treatment
Extra help is provided for patients travelling frequently for NHS treatment – three or more trips in one week or 10 or more in one month. Staff or patients can make bookings on the numbers above.
Got a bus pass or rail card? You maybe able to choose an appointment time when you can use your pass.
Can travel costs be refunded? Check costs and reclaim rules at your destination before you book your transport.
Appointment changed or cancelled? Make sure you also change your travel plans.