Patient Transport

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust provides prearranged transport to and from your appointment via our Patient Transport Service (PTS). You will be asked a series of questions to assess whether you qualify for the service.

How will I know if I can use the Patient Transport Service?

Patients who meet the eligibility criteria for patient transport in Oxfordshire are those who are registered with an Oxfordshire General Practitioner and who meet any of the following:

  1. Are unable to stand unaided by another person and cannot manage any journey in private or public transport for the purposes of daily living
  2. Have a disability and are genuinely unable to travel by private or public transport to and from their appointments or for the purposes of daily living by virtue of their disability
  3. Have a mental health condition or suffer from long term confusion and are genuinely unable to travel by private or public transport to and from their appointments or for the purposes of daily living by virtue of this condition
  4. Require continuous oxygen therapy during transit or specialist bariatric provision
  5. Require a stretcher or sling / hoist during transit
  6. Are attending for active treatment likely to cause severe physical side effects e.g. oncology, renal or eye surgery patients or within 6 weeks of transplant are attending the vascular access clinic and OUH clinical staff have advised transportation is necessary

Can I bring someone with me?

If you meet any of the above criteria, you may be able to travel with an escort, if one or more of the following apply:

  • You are under 16 years of age
  • You have significant communication difficulties, including learning difficulties, impaired sight or are hard of hearing
  • You have a mental health problem that prevents you from travelling alone such as long term confusion/ dementia
  • You have a medical condition that requires constant supervision for your own safety
  • You require a carer at your destination

If you meet the criteria for our Patient Transport Service, please contact the team on 0300 100 0015. You will need your appointment letter to hand when phoning to request transport.

If I do not qualify for PTS, what are my options?

Community Transport Schemes

There are schemes across Oxfordshire that will transport patients to and from hospital appointments for a small fee. Our team may be able to provide you with a contact number for one of these in your local area. Alternatively please view the Directory of Service for Oxfordshire based voluntary transport schemes provided by the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council or the National Community Transport website.

If you would like information on joining a transport scheme as a volunteer, please contact Oxfordshire Rural Community Council on the following email or by phone on 01865 883488.

Travelling by bus

Oxfordshire has an excellent bus service, for more information contact:

Oxford Bus Company
tel: 01865 785 400

tel: 01865 772250

The new Headington Connect bus services link Thornhill and Water Eaton Park & Ride sites to the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield hospitals, along three routes (the 700, 800 & 900). These services which are operated by Stagecoach run only on weekdays. For times and fares please see the Stagecoach website.

You can plan your public transport journey by using the Travelline website, which provides bus, coach and train timetables across Oxfordshire and the South East.

Travelling by car

Hospital sites have Pay and Display parking areas and links to Park and Ride services. For more information, please contact Oxford Bus Company on 01865 785 400.

Can I get help to pay for my travel to my appointment?

The NHS provides a Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme (HTCS) to assist with travel to hospital appointments.

Under the scheme, financial help is available for patients who do not have a medical need for ambulance transport but need help with travel costs when attending hospital for treatment as an inpatient, or for outpatient appointments. This applies to patients in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Guarantee Pension Credit
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • HC2 Certificate (full help) to cover dates attending hospital
  • HC3 Certificate (partial help) to cover dates attending hospital
  • Working Tax Credit with valid NHS Tax Exemption Certificate
  • Child Tax Credit with valid NHS Tax Exemption Certificate

For further information please discuss the scheme with hospital staff when you attend your appointment or read the patient guide here.

If you have any questions or require support in finding alternative transport services please contact the Patient Services (previously known as Patient Advice and Liaison Service or PALS) on freephone 0800 052 6088 or email

Patient Services provide confidential, on-the-spot advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide and guiding you through the different services available from the NHS.