Patient transport and travel costs

Ambulance transport

The non-emergency patient transport service is only available for patients who are unable (for medical reasons) to use private or public transport services for their journey to and/or from our hospitals.

A clinical need for treatment does not necessarily imply a medical need for transport.

Individuals without a medical need for transport should take responsibility for organising their own transport.

For patient transport queries please contact South Central Ambulance Service on 0300 123 9841.


Who can assess patients?

A qualified health care professional must assess a patient’s medical need for transport before it is booked for each journey – this can be a doctor, nurse, midwife or senior therapist working in the NHS.

All PTS bookings will then be screened by the Transport Bureau for eligibility before the booking is accepted.

Bluebird patient transport

This community partnership provides you with door-to-door independence if you have restricted mobility.

If you need to visit either the Princess Royal Hospital or Royal Sussex County Hospital sites please call 01444 471919 (Mon-Fri from 9.30-11.30am). For an urgent request, please call 07711 034519 (Mon-Fri from 8.30am – 5pm).

For more information email

If you are on a low income or benefits you may be entitled to reclaim your travel costs, to and from hospital. You will need to provide proof that you are receiving one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Based Employment & Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit (only if income is less than £15050.00)
  • Disabled Persons Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (only if income is less than £15050.00)
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • HC2 – Full Help Certificate
  • HC3 – Partial Help Certificate

Where children under the age of 16 are travelling for treatment, escort costs may be paid for 1 parent or 1 guardian attending the appointment with the child. The parent or guardian must bring relevant benefit proof. Children over the age of 16 but under 20 can claim using the parent or guardian’s benefit proof but no escort will be paid.

You will also need proof of travel if you have come by public transport and the certificate of attendance claim form, which must be completed by the department attended.

Car travel mileage rate is paid at 14p per mile for round trip, and no fuel receipts are necessary.

For more information please contact the cashier’s office on 01273 696955 Ext 4301/7630

If you are not on any of the benefits listed above you may be able to claim help through the NHS Low Income Scheme. Please contact the Cashiers Office for a HC1 Low Income Claim Form.

We do not refund taxi fares unless travel is impossible by other means and the certificate of attendance is authorised by a consultant/medic.

Cashiers Office opening times:

Royal Sussex County Hospital
Ground Floor Barry Building: 09.00 – 17.00 Monday to Friday

Tel: 01273 696955 Ext 4301/7630

Princess Royal Hospital
1st Floor Main Building: 0900 – 17.00 Monday to Friday

Tel: 01444 441881 Ext 8103

Brighton General Hospital
Level A4, Arundel Building: 09.30 – 12.30 Monday to Friday

Tel: 01273 696955 Ext 5012/5011