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Non-emergency patient transport

What is non-emergency patient transport?

Non-emergency patient transport is a free service which is only provided to patients who have a specific medical need and are attending healthcare services.

It is your responsibility to make your own way to and from healthcare services, unless there is a medical reason why you cannot use the following private or public transport methods:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Taxi
  • Community/voluntary transport schemes
  • Use of mobility cars
  • Lifts from family, carers, neighbours or other support networks
  • A combination of the above

A non-emergency patient is someone who has a medical need for patient transport, but does not require an emergency ambulance or immediate response.

Who provides transport?

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) does not provide any patient transport services.

Patient transport is provided by West Midlands Ambulance Service to those who live within the area and are eligible.

How is transport arranged?

You are responsible for booking transport directly with West Midlands Ambulance Service. You can ask a family member, carer or friend to do it on your behalf.

When booking, the following information will be requested:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • NHS number
  • Pick-up address (including postcode)
  • GP name and practice address
  • Date, time and location of your appointment

To make a booking, please call West Midlands Ambulance Service.

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.

How is eligibility assessed?

West Midlands Ambulance Service’s booking staff will check your eligibility by asking you a series of questions every time you call to book transport.

Eligibility for transport is based on your medical need and risks to your health. The assessment also helps the ambulance service determine the type of vehicle that is required and level of support required from transport staff.

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.

What happens once transport is booked?

Once the booking has been made, you do not need to take any further action.

West Midlands Ambulance Service provides a free text-messaging service. Registering for the text message service allows you to receive a text confirming your booking, including any updates on the day of your journey.

Will my transport pick me up afterwards?

All patients attending an appointment, who have booked transport with West Midlands Ambulance Service will have a return journey booked for them at the same time.

What if I live outside of the West Midlands?

You will need to contact your local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who will advise you on what you need to do. Your local CCG's contact details will be available from your GP surgery.

Is help with travel costs available if you do not qualify for non-emergency patient transport?

If you are not eligible for free transport but you are on a low income, you may qualify for assistance towards the cost of travelling to and from NHS healthcare services.

For help with travel costs, please visit the ‘help with travel costs’ page.

Last reviewed: 28 July 2021