Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS)
Patients who have a non-emergency medical need and require help with transport to reach their hospital appointment can apply to the NEPTS provided by Arriva Transport Solutions Ltd. The service runs 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The criteria that determine whether or not you are eligible for NEPTS has been set by the Department of Health and are based upon whether your medical condition prevents you from travelling by any other means. Your eligibility is assessed each time you request to use the service (apart from those receiving regular dialysis or oncology treatment).
As a patient, you will not always have to book your own transport. This is sometimes done by the hospital or clinic under which you are being treated. However, if you are referred for tests or treatment by your doctor you may have to book your own transport (you will be advised of this by your surgery/clinic).
Contacting the NEPTS
If you are asked to book your own transport, call the Patient Transport Advice Centre on 01278 727410 between 08:30 and 18:30, Monday to Friday (charged at the local standard rate).
The NHS staff there will ask you about your needs and if you qualify, will book your transport with Arriva on your behalf. If you don’t qualify, they may be able to suggest alternative means of transport for you to get you to your appointment. When you call, you will need to have the following information to hand:
- Date of birth (DOB)
- Your NHS number
- Full address with postal code
- Your mobility needs – are you in a wheelchair, for example?
Once your transport is booked, you will be given a booking journey reference number. You should keep this number in safe place in case you need to contact the Patient Transport Advice Centre again to make any changes – e.g. if you appointment time or date changes or is cancelled.
Key Performance Indicators
The NEPTS operates to performance standards (called Key Performance Indicators) that have been set by the CCG. These include:
- not waiting more than 30 seconds for your call to be answered
- the maximum time you should expect your journey to take, depending on the distance to travel
- your arrival at hospital to be between 45 minutes before and 15 minutes after your booked arrival time
- pick-up from hospital to take you home, within an hour (if your journey was pre-booked at least the day before the day of travel)
- pick-up from hospital to take you home, within 4 hours (if your journey was not booked until the day of travel)
Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme
If you have a low income and do not have a medical need for transport, you may be able to reclaim your travel costs through a national NHS scheme called the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. You can make a claim at the hospital at your appointment (provided you have the necessary paperwork) or you can make a postal claim up to three months after your appointment has taken place. This service is not related in any way to the NEPTS service.