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How do I organise transport to and from hospital?

It depends if it's 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 seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Read about when to call 999.

Non-emergency hospital visits

You'll normally be expected to make your own way to hospital if it's not an emergency.

Hospital parking can be expensive and limited, and you may not be able to leave your car there overnight. So you may want to ask 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're eligible for PTS and how to access it, you'll need to speak to your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you to hospital.

Claiming for hospital transport costs

You may be able to claim for the cost of transport to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) if you're referred for specialist NHS treatment or tests.

Read more about the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS), including who's eligible, what the conditions are and how to make a claim.

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

Further information

Page last reviewed: 20 July 2020
Next review due: 20 July 2023