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Help with travel

Patients and visitors

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You may be able to use our transport service or get help with the cost of getting to our hospitals.

Using our patient transport service

We offer free transport for patients with a medical need and who have no other means of travelling to the hospital for their appointments. 

Patient transport: coronavirus (COVID-19) update

In line with new government guidelines, single transport is currently only being offered to the following groups of patients:

  • renal transplant
  • cardiothoracic surgery (involving the heart and wider chest area including the lungs)
  • any patient with a vulnerable status (confirmed by a clinician) who continues to genuinely shield.

Patients who do not fall into one of these categories cannot be provided single person transport.

  • Can I use the transport service?

    You may be entitled to use our patient transport service if you:

    • are disabled
    • have a medical condition stopping you using public transport
    • are having or have had major surgery affecting mobility.

    To find out whether you qualify to use this service, you will need to be assessed by a member of the patient transport assessment team. This involves a brief telephone interview and is completely confidential. The assessment has to be carried out at least 48 hours before your appointment.

    If you think you may be eligible, please call 020 7188 2888.

  • How do I book patient transport?

    We will need to assess whether you qualify for this service. Assessments must be carried out at least 48 hours before your appointment. If you qualify, we will book transport for you.

    Contact us on 020 7188 2888, Option 1 (7.45am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays). You will be asked to provide your hospital number and some medical information.

    If you need assistance, a friend or relative can contact us on your behalf.

  • When will I be collected?

    On the day before your appointment, we will contact you to:

    • make sure you are attending your appointment
    • confirm your address
    • check we have the appropriate vehicle for you
    • give you an estimated pick-up time.

    Patient transport will aim to get you to the hospital 45 to 15 minutes before your appointment.

  • What happens when I get to hospital?

    Please report to the reception desk so we know you have arrived. We will give you directions to your appointment or ask a porter to help you get there if you need assistance. If an escort is booked to travel with you, escorts are expected to assist and take you to your appointment.

  • How do I get home after my appointment?

    Once you are ready to return home, you will need to return to the patient transport waiting area. Please report to the reception desk so we can organise transport for you. You will be looked after by our staff while you wait for your driver.

    Patient transport waiting area opening times:

    • Guy's Lounge - Monday to Friday, 7am to 9pm. Saturday 7am to 7pm. Closed Sunday.
    • St Thomas' Lounge - Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm. Saturday 7am to 7pm. Closed Sunday.
    • Cancer Centre at Guy's - Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. Closed weekends.

    For transport outside of these times, please call 020 7188 7188.

  • What if I need to cancel my transport?

    If you need to cancel your transport, call 020 7188 2888 Option 3 at any time.

  • What happens if I have another appointment?

    Patients who need to attend hospital on a regular basis will be assessed for the length of their treatment or every 3 months. Patients coming to the hospital on an occasional basis will be assessed each time transport is required.

  • What happens if I don't qualify?

    If you are not satisfied with the assessment, you can request a second review. Call 020 7188 7188, extension number 58783.

    If this response does not satisfy you either, you can ask your GP for a letter stating why you should qualify for patient transport. This letter should be on the surgery’s headed paper and sent to the Patient Transport Service Assessment Team at St Thomas’ Hospital. Once this has been received, you will be contacted and advised.

Getting help with travel costs

You can get your travel costs reimbursed under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme

  • Who can get help with travel costs

    To get help with travel costs, you need to meet the following three conditions:

    • At the time of your appointment, you or your partner (including civil partners) must receive one of the qualifying benefits or allowances listed on the NHS website or meet the eligibility criteria for the NHS Low Income Scheme.
    • You must have a referral from a healthcare professional to a specialist or a hospital for further NHS treatment or tests (often referred to as secondary care).
    • Your appointment must be on a separate visit to when the referral was made. This applies whether your treatment is provided at a different location (hospital or clinic) or on the same premises as where the GP or another health professional issued the referral.
  • How to claim back the cost of your travel

    At the cashier's office

    When you arrive for your appointment, let the reception staff know you want to claim back transport fares. They can fill out the right form for you. 

    To reclaim the money, take the completed form, with proof of your travel costs to one of our cashier's offices. You will need to provide the following:

    • the form authorised by the clinic
    • valid travel ticket (where travel ticket is not provided, mileage will be paid)
    • proof of entitlement
    • you will need to keep any ticket or receipts you have as proof of the cost and present it when claiming for your reinbursement.

    By post

    To claim your travel costs by post, you will need to complete an HC5(T) form (PDF, 35Kb). The form must be authorised by NHS Business Services Authority within the 3 month period from the date of your hospital appointment. You can get the form from the cashier's office, hospital clinic or ward, or JobCentre Plus offices.

    You should make sure that the form (authorised by the hospital clinic or ward) and the travel ticket are attached to postal claims. If the travel ticket is not attached, mileage will be paid.

    Please note that the Trust will not pay postal claims outside the 3 month period unless authorised as accepted outside 3 months by NHS Business Services Authority. 

  • Claiming back congestion charge payments

    You can claim back the daily charge if:

    • you have a weakened immune system, need regular therapy or assessment, or need recurrent surgical treatment; and
    • the member of staff caring for you has completed the appropriate claim form, confirming you are too ill, weak or disabled to travel to your appointment on public transport.

    You will need to pay the congestion charge for the day that you drive to your hospital appointment. At your appointment, the staff caring for you will assess whether you are eligible for reimbursement.

    If you are, you will need to provide your congestion charge receipt or receipt number and the registration number of the vehicle that you travelled to the appointment in.

    A travel claim form will be completed and signed by your doctor, nurse or other health professional. You will then be able to claim the charge back via our cashier's offices.

  • Claiming back contactless payments

    Travel costs paid by contactless payment or Oyster card can be reimbursed. You can get a list of journeys made by visiting TfL (Transport for London). You will need to register your contactless payment card or Oyster card on the TfL website to get a record of your travel.

  • Cashier's offices

    HospitalAddress Telephone numberOpening hours

    St Thomas'

    Ground floor, North Wing corridor, opposite the hairdresser

    020 7188 2329

    Monday, Tuesdays and Fridays

    10am to 4pm


    Ground floor of Tower Wing, across from the post room

    020 7188 2343

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