How do I organise transport to and from hospital?

It depends if it is an emergency or not.

In an emergency

In a medical emergency, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. You will not have to pay to be taken to hospital in an emergency.

A medical emergency is when someone is in a critical or life-threatening situation.

Read about ambulance services.

Non-emergency hospital visits

If your reason for going to hospital is not an emergency, you'll normally be expected to make your own way there.

Hospital parking can be expensive and/or limited, and you may not be able to leave your car there overnight. So you may want to try and get a friend or relative to take you to hospital and collect you after you've been discharged.

You can search for your local hospital to check its parking facilities.

Non-emergency patient transport services

Some people are eligible for non-emergency patient transport services (PTS). These services provide free transport to and from hospital for:

  • people whose condition means they need additional medical support during their journey
  • people who find it difficult to walk
  • parents or guardians of children who are being transported

PTS may not be available in all areas. To find out if you are eligible for PTS and how to access it, you will need to speak to your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you to hospital. 

Refunds of hospital transport costs

You may be able to claim a refund for the cost of your transport to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) if you:

  • are not eligible for PTS
  • cannot afford the cost of travelling to hospital
  • cannot get a friend or relative to take you

Read this page on the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) for more information on who is eligible, what the conditions are and how you can access the scheme.

Read the answers to more questions about NHS services and treatments.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 03/08/2017

Next review due: 03/08/2020