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Patient Transport Service

Patient information A-Z

Advice for patients

Who can use hospital transport?

Patients are normally expected to make their own way to and from hospital for non-emergency tests and treatments.

However, this may not be possible if you have a medical condition that prevents you from travelling any other way, such as public transport or taxis including wheelchair taxis. Where necessary, hospital transport will be provided for both inpatient stays and outpatient appointments.

What are the criteria for hospital transport?

There are clear and consistent national criteria based on medical need for patients to qualify for hospital transport.

Examples of medical need may include:

  • patients who require a stretcher to travel lying down
  • patients who require oxygen or other medical gases during the journey
  • patients being transferred between hospitals
  • patients who require monitoring during a journey
  • renal dialysis patients
  • patients whose health would be damaged if they used any other form of transport
  • some patients who use a wheelchair and do not have a wheelchair adapted vehicle

Who decides if you are eligible?

Hospital transport can be arranged by telephoning the call centre for your area to arrange transport. Your GP, outpatient clinic or ward will be able to inform you of who to contact.

A patient’s eligibility for transport is considered by the services above each time it is requested, because your medical condition and transport needs can change.

Who provides the hospital transport?

There are a number of different transport providers covering different areas. For example, East of England Ambulance Service covers Basildon and Brentwood, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, East and North Herts and West Essex. ERS covers Norfolk and Kings Lynn and Wisbech.

E-zec Medical cover Great Yarmouth and Waveney and Ipswich and East Suffolk. If you are unsure who your transport provider is please contact either your GP surgery, the clinic you are attending or the Transport Office at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on 01223 216438 between 08:30 (8:30am) and 20:00 (8pm).

Your transport provider handles transport bookings, queries and any problems with:

  • planned transport
  • late arrivals for planned transport
  • changes in patient appointment times

For outpatients

  • If you are unable to attend your appointment, or have arranged to make your own way to and from the hospital, please contact the call centre to cancel your transport.
  • Please allow at least 24 hours’ notice to arrange or cancel transport.
  • Please ensure you are ready to be collected up to two hours before your appointment.
  • Transport may sometimes be late due to unavoidable delays but every effort will be made to get you to your appointment on time.
  • Please bring these with you:
    • appointment letter
    • any medication and its packaging
    • hearing aid and glasses
    • Key to your home
  • Please be aware you may need to share hospital transport with other patients, and therefore have to wait until those patients are also ready to go home.
  • Please let outpatient clinic staff know that you are using hospital transport so they can ensure your appointment is kept to time and that you are ready for your return journey home.

For inpatients being discharged

  • It is important you are ready when your transport arrives on the ward.
  • If Transport is unavoidably delayed every effort will be made to collect you from the ward promptly.
  • Please be aware you may need to share hospital transport with other patients, and therefore have to wait until those patients are also ready to go home.

Other community transport options in Cambridgeshire

Contact Cambridgeshire Community Transport Community Transport (opens in a new tab) for further information on any of the following community options in Cambridgeshire:

Community Transport Schemes in Cambridgeshire

Community transport provides journeys for people who have difficulty using conventional public transport.

The majority of the community transport schemes are restricted to individuals meeting the following criteria:

  • you do not have access to public transport and do not have access to your own car
  • you experience difficulty using public transport ie because of a disability or age
  • you are socially or rurally isolated from accessing basic public services and facilities (such as healthcare)

Taxicard scheme leaflets

Taxicard schemes provide assistance towards the cost of taxi journeys for people who have difficulties getting or using public transport. Please visit the Taxicard pages on the Community Transport website (opens in a new tab) and select your local area for details.

Further information, concerns or complaints

Please contact the CUH transport office on 01223 216438 or whoever made the booking (GP practice, call centre, outpatient clinic or hospital ward responsible for the patient’s care), or the local Patient and Advice Liaison Service (PALS).

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151