How to get to your medical appointment in Wiltshire

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This information is for people who have a non-emergency medical need and require help with transport to reach their hospital appointment.

Non-Emergency Patient Transport (NEPTS)

Arriva are the providers of NEPT in the Wiltshire area. This service is for people who need to travel to and from an appointment at a hospital or clinic or those who are discharged from hospital and because of their medical condition cannot make their own way.

There are certain criteria that will decide whether or not you are eligible for NEPTS. These criteria have been set by the Department of Health and are based upon whether your medical condition prevents you from travelling by other means e.g. public transport.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group have more information about the service as well as a leaflet that you can download:

You can call Arriva on: 0345 600 6068* where their call advisors will be able to provide you with further information.
*Calls to this number will be charged at standard local rate from landlines, calls from mobiles may be higher

What happens if I am not eligible for Arriva NEPTS?

If you are not eligible for the NEPT Service from Arriva there are other options that you can try.

Wiltshire Link Scheme/ Community Transport

Community Transport or Link is the name given to any type of transport run on a not-for- profit basis to assist people who cannot access private or public transport for any reason. They are run by local voluntary groups o local people who are in need either because they are elderly, disabled, single parents or perhaps are temporarily in need because of illness.
There is are Link schemes to cover each area of Wiltshire (North, South, East, West).

They run a donation scheme but there is no set charge. Generally they will look for a maximum donation of 45p per mile although some Links may not expect so much. Some Links will not ask for donations at all. Any donations should be placed in an envelope and given to the driver. It is probably best to telephone your local link and find out what the average donation should be.

Contact Details
Telephone: 01380 722241
Clicking on the ‘directory’ at the top of the Wiltshire Link page will give contact numbers for each area within the East, West, North and South of Wiltshire.

NHS Healthcare travel costs scheme

You may be able to claim a refund under the 'Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme' (HTCS) for the cost of travelling to hospital or other NHS premises for NHS-funded treatment or diagnostic tests arranged by a doctor or dentist.
To qualify for help with travel costs under the HTCS, you must meet three conditions:

1. At the time of your appointment, you or your partner (including civil partners) must be receiving one of the qualifying benefits or allowances, or meet the eligibility criteria of the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Qualifying Benefits are as follows:
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Pension Credit Guarantee Credit or
• you are named on, or entitled to (use your award notice as evidence), a NHS tax credit exemption certificate
• you have a low income and are named on certificate HC2 (full help) or HC3 (limited help). To apply for this certificate, you should complete form HC1 available from your local hospital, Jobcentre Plus offices, or from the DH publications order line on 0300 123 1002.
• you are awarded Universal Credit

2. Your journey must be made to receive NHS-funded non-primary medical or non-primary dental care services, to which you have been referred to by a GP, dentist or hospital consultant. (Primary care is care provided in the community and normally includes GPs, Dentists, Community Pharmacists, Community optometrists).

3. For referrals made by a primary practitioner such as a GP or dentist, the service must be provided on a different day and in premises other than those occupied by the practitioner who made the referral.

You can claim travel costs for your children if 2 or 3 above applies to them and you are in group 1 above at the time of the appointment. Any young person aged 16 or over may make their own claim.

You can claim travel costs for an escort, if your doctor, dentist or consultant says that for medical reasons you need someone to travel with you.

You cannot claim help with travel costs, if
• you are visiting someone in hospital.
• you are visiting your local GP or dentist for routine primary care services, such as check-ups, vaccinations, cervical cancer screening or minor surgery.

You are generally expected to use the cheapest most appropriate means of transport, which in most cases will be public transport. If you travel by car you will be repaid the estimated cost of fuel used plus unavoidable car parking. Where you are using a taxi for transport it is recommended that you check with the hospital or Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) before you travel to make sure that they are prepared to pay for transport by taxi.

You should be able to claim for the costs before you travel. You can find out more information about how to go about this by contacting Wiltshire CCG or the hospital or treatment centre where you are receiving treatment.

You can find out more information by downloading the booklet: leaflet HC11- Help with health costs (PDF, 430 kb) or by going to the NHS Choices Website:
Contact details for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group:
Telephone: 01380 728899