How do I organise transport to and from hospital?

It depends on:

  • whether you need to go to hospital in an emergency
  • your medical condition and circumstances if it's not an emergency

In an emergency

In a medical emergency, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. A medical emergency is when someone is in a critical or life-threatening situation. You will not have to pay to be taken to hospital in an emergency.

Find out more about ambulance services.

Non-emergency hospital visits

If you're going to hospital for non-emergency tests or treatment, you'll normally be expected to make your own way there.

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

Search for your local hospital and 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 who have a medical need for it.

Your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you to hospital can discuss with you whether you have a medical need for transport.

Patient transport services may not be available in all areas.

Refunds of hospital transport costs

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

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

There are conditions you must meet to be eligible for a refund under this scheme. For more information, see Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).

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

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 24/04/2013

Next review due: 23/04/2015