Who is eligible for patient transport by ambulance?
Ambulance transport can only be provided for patients who have a medical need for an ambulance and who cannot travel by any other means. Ambulance staff can care for patients during the journey to and from hospital.
How do I book patient transport?
Ambulance transport is no longer arranged by the GP and is instead organised through the Patient Transport Team by phone. Please telephone the Patient Transport Line at least one week in advance of your appointment or as soon as you get your appointment details.
Patient Transport Line: 020 8934 6770 Monday to Friday: 10:00am to12:00pm and 2:00pm to 4:00pm
The phone line is busiest at opening and closing times. There is a queuing system in place, but you are likely to get a quicker response if you call between 10:30am to 11:30 am or 2:30pm to 3:30pm.
If you have an urgent need for transport on the next day but have not been able to get through to the Patient Transport Line, please send an email before 6pm to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a telephone number so the team can contact you.
If your appointment is cancelled, or there is another reason why you will not be attending your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. This will mean the ambulance and skilled staff can transport other patients in need.
What if I have not used patient transport services before, or haven’t used it in the last 6 months?
If this is the case, your eligibility for patient transport by ambulance will be assessed by a Patient Transport Assessor when you phone to book ambulance transport. Their role is to ensure that everyone is assessed fairly and ensure that ambulance transport is available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. The criteria are based on Department of Health and Social Care guidelines.
In what situations are people eligible for patient transport by ambulance?
Patients requiring travel by stretcher
Some wheelchair users
Patients who would come to harm if they used any other form of transport
Certain patients being transferred between hospitals
Patients who require an oxygen supply to be administered during the journey
Patients who need to be clinically monitored during their journey
Patients who require medical equipment or aids that cannot be accommodated by private or general public transport
Patients who receive treatment at hospital that impacts them in such a way that they cannot be transported by public or private transport (such as major orthopaedic surgery).
What happens if I do not meet the eligibility criteria for transport by ambulance?
If you are assessed as not meeting the eligibility criteria, your case will be reviewed by a senior nurse to ensure the assessment has been correctly made. We understand that there are many reasons why patients need assistance with travel to and from hospital, but we are only able to provide ambulance transport for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
It is possible for someone (an escort) to travel in the ambulance with me?
All children and young people under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Normally only paid professionals, such as care assistants, will be allowed to escort people aged 18 and over on hospital transport. However, family members and friends may travel with you if you fall into one of the following categories:
You have significant communication difficulties which may include learning difficulties, or significantly impaired sight or hearing
You have a mental health condition that prevents you from travelling alone.
Help with travel costs
If you are on a low income or benefits, you might be entitled to reclaim your public transport costs to and from the hospital under the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme.
You can also collect a hard copy of this form at Kingston hospital from the reception desk in Bernard Meade Wing, or at the Patient Transport Office in the Rowan Bentall Wing (next to the Patient Transport Lounge near main Outpatients).
Travel cost reimbursement is available for patients in one or more of the following categories:
Currently under the care of a consultant (not only their GP)
Receiving hospital diagnostic tests
Receiving other hospital treatment that it is being funded by the NHS.
It does not apply to journeys for primary medical or dental care.
Strict eligibility rules apply. Currently, patients eligible for full or partial re-imbursement of travel costs include patients (and their dependants) who receive one or more of the following:
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.
Request More Information
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
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