The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) is for patients who:
- Need to travel to and from an appointment at a hospital or clinic
- Are discharged from hospital (and meet the eligibility criteria), or
- Need to transfer between centres, and
- Because of their medical condition, cannot make their own way.
The service for our Trust is run by E-zec Medical Transport Services.
For full details, please see the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board website: Patient transport.
When the hospital or clinic books your transport
If a member of staff books your transport, the person booking your journey will need to be sure you qualify and you will be asked some simple questions about your medical condition and mobility needs.
The answers you give will be used to determine whether you are eligible.
If you are, then patient transport will be booked.
If not, then you will need to make your own arrangements to get to and from your appointment.
When you have finished your treatment and want to go home, you will need to see the staff at your clinic who will arrange for transport to come and collect you.
When to book your own patient transport
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 contact the service directly - you will be advised of this by your surgery/clinician if you need to do this.
If you are asked to book your own transport, please phone 01278 727401.
Your call will be answered by a PTAC (Patient Transport Advice Centre) advisor, who will first assess whether you are eligible to use patient transport by asking you a few simple questions about your medical condition and mobility needs.
Your answers to these questions will determine whether you are eligible.
You will need to have the following information to hand when you call PTAC:
- Date of birth
- 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 a safe place in case you need to contact PTAC again to make any changes.
What to expect from the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service
E-zec will collect you from inside your home and stay with you until you reach your unit or clinic.
If you arrive before your unit or clinic has opened, they will make sure you are not left to wait there on your own.
If the service is delayed for any reason, they will liaise with your clinic/ward to ensure they know and are still able to see you.
Before you set off, the service will need to confirm your appointment details.
They will also make sure that all your household appliances are switched off, that you have your keys to get back in when you return and that your home is securely locked.
When they take you home after treatment, E-zec will make sure you are safely back indoors before they leave.
Friends or relatives who wish to travel with you
Only parents/carers of children under the age of 16 and carers of patients who have been assessed as vulnerable can accompany patients on their journey.
There are also limited places available for those patients who require an escort due to medical need (this will be assessed as part of the eligibility process).
Although E-zec recognises other patients would like the support of family and friends with them on their journey, places taken up in this way means that other patients with a medical need cannot travel.
Finding out more about your journey
When a NEPTS journey is booked, you should be collected in good time to ensure you reach your appointment on time, so it is important to be ready.
If you start to worry that the ambulance has not arrived on time you can call 01278 727401 and you will be told how long it will be before you are collected.
You can also use this telephone number for other enquiries you may have about patient transport.
If you don't meet the eligibility criteria for transport
The criteria that determine whether or not you are eligible for NEPTS have been set by the Department of Health and are based upon whether your medical condition prevents you from travelling by any other means.
All operators of patient transport are now required to apply these rules so whilst you may have previously been able to use patient transport this may no longer be the case if you are not deemed eligible.
Patient transport is a vital resource for those who need it and it should not be seen as an alternative to a taxi or as a means of avoiding the inconvenience or cost of parking.
Other ways to get to your appointment
If you are not eligible to use the service then you will need to make your own way to hospital or treatment centre.
If you are not able to do that then there are other options available to you.
Please contact your Local HealthWatch for more information:
- Healthwatch Swindon
- Healthwatch Wiltshire
- Healthwatch Gloucestershire
- Healthwatch South Gloucestershire
- Healthwatch BaNES
Tell us about your needs
Please direct any compliments or complaints to:
Please do not include any patient-identifiable data or confidential details, but please do include:
- Journey reference number
- Patient's initials
- Full details of any issue