South Staffordshire Patient Transport Services

NSL Care Services – Working in South Staffordshire


Patient Transport Services in South Staffordshire will be run by NSL Care Services from January 1st 2012 on behalf of South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust. Providing patient transport to Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and South Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) we will be aiming to deliver a first class service to all users.

Due to the geographical area South Staffordshire covers we are also providing a service for out of area hospitals such as Oxford, Wales and also includes Derbyshire and East Midlands hospitals.

It is our duty to make sure all patients who use our service are transferred to and from health appointments as quickly and comfortably as possible, while ensuring that they receive first class standards of medical care while in transit.

It is also our duty to ensure that the service not only provides excellent value for the NHS, but is also available to those who really need the service. To ensure this we will follow the eligibility criteria already set for the service.

Applying eligibility criteria for Patient Transport Services has been in place since 2007, having provided by the Department of Health at this time. We have based our eligibility criteria on the DoH’s guidelines as follows:

Eligible patients are those who:

•Would normally struggle to carry out day to day activities like shopping and visiting friends?
•Relies on others to travel around during normal day to day activities?
•Have no friends or relatives to assist with transport?
•Is unable to use public transport?
•Has to travel using a stretcher?
•Requires continuous oxygen or other medical gases during the journey?
•Have seriously impaired vision?
•Require an inter hospital transfer.
•Is confined to a wheelchair because of a medical condition?
•Is suffering from a mental health problem, learning disability, speech, sight or hearing difficulty that would prevent them from using public transport?
•Are unable to walk without the continual support of another person or walking aid and requires the support of trained PTS staff.
•Will experience a side effect as a result of the treatment they will receive which will leave them too ill or weak to use a taxi or public transport.
At NSL Care Services we need to ensure that the services are always available for those who genuinely need them. People who use the service when they are not eligible could be denying those in genuine need the opportunity to use the provided transport.

Further advice on eligibility criteria is available from the Department of Health website – or from NSL via

South Staffordshire guide to Patient Transport Services
What is a Patient Transport Service?
A Patient Transport Service provides planned transportation for patients with a medical need that is not urgent.

It does not include 999 calls, but will typically include transport to an outpatient appointment, transport for a planned hospital admission, transfer from one hospital to another or for an admission into a nursing home.

Is patient transport available to everyone?
Generally patients are expected to make their own arrangements for travelling to and from healthcare premises, including hospitals. It is the patient’s responsibility to make their own arrangements as this helps ensure that limited resources are available for those who really need them.

Patient transport is not an automatic right. Patients who have a medical or mobility condition where they need NHS staff to support them to and from a hospital or clinic for treatment may be eligible for patient transport.

How do I book my transport?
Eligible patients can book transport by calling directly on 0333 240 0265.

If you request transport to your appointment, you will be asked to complete a simple assessment which is a series of questions. Once completed, the booking officer will immediately advise you as to whether or not you are eligible for transport.

Please note the exception for South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. In line with their transport policy that supports social independence and recovery transport can only be booked on the authorisation of a Trust employee.

What happens if I’m going to a hospital other than Burton, Stafford or Derby?
Usually a single PTS Provider will provide a service to a hospital for all its patients regardless of where they live. However, sometimes due to patient’s choice choosing to go to hospitals which are a further distance such as Oxford it is not feasible or practical for the out of area hospital PTS provider to travel to

Staffordshire. In these circumstances NSL will provide transport for out of area hospitals if patients meet the criteria.

For other West Midland hospitals the PTS Provider servicing that hospital will provide transport. Please contact the relevant hospital PALS for more information.

Is patient transport available for hospices, nursing homes and residential homes?
For patients in nursing/residential homes and hospices they are treated as if they are making a journey from and to their home.

I am receiving treatment at a non NHS hospice. Am I able to get transport?
Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

What happens if transport is required from a person’s home to a nursing home?
Sometimes Social Services require transportation from a person’s home to a nursing home, usually due to a care package being put in place.

Any requests need to be made on a medical and not social ground. If the person meets the eligibility criteria they will receive transport as appropriate.

I have previously used PTS, but now I’m being told I can’t. My circumstances have not changed, so why is this?
Previously there were variations as to what criteria patients had to meet in order to qualify for transport. We have now introduced a fairer system which will mean that all patients who book transport will be assessed in the same way. NSL has worked with NHS organisations across Staffordshire to provide an improved and efficient service for those who really need it.

PTS is a vital resource for those who need it and should not be seen as an alternative to a taxi or as a means to avoid the inconvenience or cost of parking.

What will happen to the people who are refused/do not meet the eligibility criteria?
Those who do not have a genuine need for patient transport will be advised on what other means are available to them, such as public transport. If, due to social circumstances, they are unable to meet the cost of travelling for the treatment, advice regarding the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme will be provided. PCTs and CCGs are not able to provide transport for social reasons, and the criterion is based on medical need only.

If anyone is unhappy with the outcome of their assessment, and the matter cannot be resolved at the time of booking, they will be advised on routes they can take for appeal.

If I receive Disability Living Allowance Mobility Component am I entitled to patient transport?
If you receive Disability Living Allowance Mobility Component or have a vehicle under the Mobility Scheme you will not automatically be entitled to access ambulance transport if simply for mobility purposes. Consideration is given on medical grounds.
Disability Living Allowance Component is awarded to assist patients in their daily life and that includes attending hospital appointments.

Can I get help with the financial cost of transport for hospital treatment?
You may be able to get financial help from the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme if you’re on a low income. You may be able to claim travel expenses (usually taxi fares are excluded) if you make your own way to hospital and receive:

•Income Support
•Income based Employment and Support allowance ESA
•Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
•Guarantee Pension Credit
•Working Tax Credit
•Child Tax Credit
•Valid HC2 Certificate
For more information on the Healthcare Travel cost scheme and advice regarding help with health costs please see the NHS Choices website:

Can I get patient transport for dentist appointments?
This is excluded from patient transport services. The NHS policy patient transport is only for healthcare treatment and does not include transport for dentist, opticians or doctor appointments.

Can I get patient transport due to the distance I live from the hospital?
The distance you have to travel or any financial cost you may incur is not a reason to request hospital transport. Patient transport is for patients with a genuine medical need only.

Please remember
If you are able to get safely to and from hospital by public, voluntary or private transport please do so.

There are advantages for you if you do: less waiting for your transport both before and after your appointment and a shorter journey time as the ambulances make a longer trip with several patients all together.

There are only a limited number of ambulance vehicles. Please help us by only asking for hospital transport if you really need it.

This will help us provide a better quality of service for those patients who really need it.