Changes Announced In New NHS Medical Patient Transport Policy

Changes to non emergency patient transport to the mainland have been announced after the NHS published their new Non Emergency Patient Transport policy.

Following the announcement Healthwatch Isles of Scilly (IOS) released a summery of the policy highlighting the key points.

In the summary Healthwatch IOS stated that: "You still have the choice to travel by air or sea, for both day trips and longer stays. There is no time limit on patient travel, other than a 72 hour limit when travelling with an escort, this hasn’t changed."

The main changes to policy can be read bellow:

  • For IOS patients, air travel will only be booked via Lands End. The travel warrant will no longer cover the shuttle to Penzance. You can book the shuttle when booking your flight, but will have to pay separately.
  • For all patients, the NHS subsidy towards TAPS cars has been withdrawn, and TAPS will now charge the full cost of a round trip.
  • Previously, NHS funded transport has been available for escorts of expectant Mums attending a 20 week scan, and escorts of patients attending a ‘two week wait’ appointment, where an initial diagnosis will be discussed. This is now only funded for people on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, as set out in the Health Care Travel Costs Scheme.

Healthwatch IOS also stated that they: "Have been told that the Clinical Commissioning Group will keep the policy under review. Healthwatch IOS will be discussing the impact of elements of the policy in in our ongoing work with services and through the IOS Medical Travel and Transport Group."

They also added: "All queries about individual bookings should be directed to the Centralised Booking Office for Patient Transport."

You can read the full document here and the FAQS here. We'll have more on the new Non Emergency Patient Transport policyas soon as it is available.