Non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) services play an important role in helping eligible patients travel to, and from, healthcare services where they have a medical need for ambulance transport or require the support of patient transport staff.
The aim of NEPT services, which are provided by West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, is to provide eligible patients with safe, timely and comfortable NHS funded transport. It can help eligible patients get to and from healthcare services. This could be for:
- Patient transport to or from a hospital, satellite or community services
- Transfer of patients between healthcare services or
- Helping patients return to their home or place of residence following a stay in hospital.
It is a patient’s responsibility to make their own way to and from healthcare services, unless there is a medical reason why they cannot use private or public transport. This includes: walking, cycling, bus, train, taxi or community/voluntary transport schemes; use of mobility cars, lifts from family, carers, neighbours or other support networks; or a combination of these.
Your eligibility for transport is based on your medical need and risks to your health. It also helps to identify your mobility class, determine the type of vehicle that is required and level of support required from transport staff.
Your eligibility will be checked by booking staff every time you book; you will be asked a series of questions when you call the booking office. If someone is calling on your behalf, they will be required to answer the questions in order for your eligibility to be checked. If you are not eligible for free transport, you will be given details of local alternative services that may be available to you.
Your eligibility will be assessed by booking staff in accordance with the Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull Eligibility Policy.
You will be responsible for booking your own transport, or you can ask a family member, carer or friend to do it on your behalf.
When booking, the following information will be requested:
- Date of birth
- NHS number
- Pick-up address (including postcode)
- GP name and practice address
- Date, time and location of your appointment.
The telephone booking line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you require an interpreter, this can be arranged during the booking process.
A patient charter has been developed to ensure that patients understand what to expect from the service and can access the same level of service across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.
Patients who do not qualify for NHS funded transport but who are on low incomes may be eligible for assistance towards travel costs to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. You can get more information about the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme at your local NHS healthcare service or by visiting NHS Choices. This will include information on how you can make a claim to have your travel costs reimbursed if you’re eligible.