There are just nine specialist PH centres in the UK and our 2016 Living with PH survey revealed that 55% of people with PH must travel over 50 miles for their appointments (20% travel over 100 miles). The same research revealed that a quarter of patients have difficulties travelling because of cost.
The move to more ‘remote’ appointments (via telephone or online) may have minimised the need for some of this travel, but when you do need to attend in person, how can you do this as cheaply as possible?
Patient transport services (known as PTS) are available for some people in some areas. It is generally available for:
Availability and eligibility varies, so you will need to speak to your specialist centre to check whether you are able to access it.
You may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
To qualify for this help, you must meet certain conditions, which can be found here. You can claim travel costs for an escort if your health professional says it’s medically necessary for someone to travel with you.
Hospital parking can be limited and expensive, and some hospitals do not allow you to leave your car overnight. If you feel able to ask, it may be cheaper and easier to call on the help of a friend or relative to give you a lift- especially if your appointment involves an overnight stay.
If you are staying overnight, it may be cheaper to park in a car park slightly further away and travel the remaining distance via taxi. Obtaining quotes and working out the cost differences could well be worth it.
REMEMBER: If you have PH, you may be eligible for a Blue Badge to help you park more conveniently. Find out more here.
You may be eligible for a pass that give you free bus travel, or 30% off the cost of train tickets.
A disabled person’s bus pass or railcard is for those who have a condition, like PH, that makes it hard to get around.
Can you take the bus? A £2.50 cap on single-ticket bus fares in 130 areas outside of London will run until the end of November 2024. Find out more here.
You can find more information on the Citizens Advice website here.