New Patient Transport Service from 8 September

We are joining 3 other NHS organisations in North Central London to provide a consistent and high quality non-emergency patient transport service, regardless of where you receive care or treatment.

From 8 September, patients (or someone else acting on their behalf, such as a carer) will book transport to or from their appointments. Transport will no longer be booked by NHS clinical staff or a GP.
 
However, you will only need to call one number to arrange your transport to or from:

Booking patient transport from 8 September:

From this date our partners at DHL will begin providing non-emergency patient transport services on our behalf. DHL have been providing Patient Transport Services in London for over 20 years and in 2018 they completed more than 550,000 patient journeys.

The process to book your transport is simple and straight forward:
  1. Make your medical appointment in the usual way.
  2. Between 4 weeks to 2 days before your appointment you or your representative should contact the transport assessment team on 0333 240 4909 (The lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm except bank holidays) to find out if you can apply for this service.
  3. You will be taken through a series of assessment questions by a clinician to determine if you qualify.
  4. If you are entitled to receive patient transport the transport will be booked.

All DHL staff will wear a DHL Identification Badge. You should always ask to see this before you let the crew into your home. If you have any concerns you should ask the crew to provide you with their ID badge, you can then call the number above to verify that the they are genuine. The crew will understand that your safety is important and won't mind waiting whilst you do this.

Cancellations

If your appointment is changed, or you cannot attend your appointment, please ring us as soon as possible on 0333 240 4909 to avoid wasted journeys.

Who is entitled to non-emergency patient transport?

There is no change to the eligibility criteria as a result of these new arrangements. Access to patient transport continues to be based on medical need and the patient transport assessment centre will use assessment questions for each booking to establish each patientís eligibility to access NHS-funded transport. These questions may be revised when necessary to ensure they are in line with Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) guidance.
 
The eligibility criteria makes patient transport available to patients whose clinical condition means that travelling by any other means would be detrimental to their recovery or existing condition, such as (but not limited) to:
  • patients who need to be transported on a stretcher 
  • some wheelchair patients 
  • some patients receiving oxygen 
  • patients who require paramedic services
  • patients who need the support of patient transport staff during the journey

Transport is provided based on medical need only and not whether the patient can afford the cost of their journeys to and from appointments. Some patients on a low income may be eligible for reimbursement of travel costs through the healthcare travel costs scheme (HTCS). This funding can also be issued in advance, either per journey or in a block sum, depending on the frequency of travel.

Your Questions Answered...

How is hospital transport booked?
You should contact the transport assessment team on 0333 240 4909 (open Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm excluding bank holidays) to find out if you can apply for this service. If you need help to request hospital transport, a friend, relative or carer can call on your behalf.

What does the assessment involve?
This is a short nurse-led, confidential telephone interview to assess your transport needs.

How much notice should I give?

Please contact the transport team on 0333 240 4909 no more than four weeks prior to the appointment date and at least two days before your appointment to give us time to arrange your transport.

What can I do if I am not eligible for transport?

You can contact the appeals team, at the end of the eligibility call you can ask for details about appealing the decision.
If you are not happy with the decision, you can contact our PALS team. You can find out more about them and how to contact them at www.whittington.nhs.uk/PALS.
 
If I am eligible for patient transport will you confirm my booking?
Yes. Three days before your hospital appointment, we will contact you to:
  • Confirm if you are still requiring transport to your appointment
  • Give you an opportunity to cancel your transport if it is not required
  • Tell you your unique journey ID
  • Tell you your  approximate pick up window

When will I be collected?

This depends on your postcode; you should be collected to allow enough time for you to arrive before your appointment; 15-60 minutes before the scheduled appointment time. Please be ready when the transport arrives as drivers cannot wait more than ten minutes.

What happens when I get to the hospital?
The transport team will ensure you are taken to your appointment.

What happens when I'm ready to go home?

Please let a member of staff know and they will arrange for a porter to take you to the transport lounge at if you are being seen at our hospital. If your appointment has taken place at one of our other locations, please let the clinic team know, and they will advise the transport team you are ready to go home.
 
We will try to get you home as soon as we can. However, you may have to wait up to 120 minutes to be collected. It is important to note that journeys are planned to make the most effective use of our vehicles. This means that other patients may share the same vehicle with you.

Can I have an escort?

We use Department of Health and Social Care guidelines to decide whether an escort is appropriate. We will discuss this with you as part of the assessment process.
Working on it!