NHS England have confirmed in their updated Eligibility Criteria a universal commitment of transport support for patients attending in-centre haemodialysis.

Who is eligible?
All patients registered with a GP in England who are receiving in-centre haemodialysis should be offered transport support. This offer applies to journeys to or from in-centre haemodialysis only, though dialysis patients attending another type of appointment, or who are being discharged, may be eligible for NEPTS if they meet another of the NEPTS eligibility criteria. Further, subject to meeting the qualifying criteria, dialysis patients may be able to claim support with travel costs from the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme (HTCS) for other appointment types.

The universal commitment to offering transport support does not mean a universal commitment to provide a NEPTS resource. Rather, the commitment is for the NHS to support a patient’s transport to and from in-centre haemodialysis and/or help them decide which transport option best meets their requirements.

An overarching principle of NEPTS is that most people should travel to and from hospital independently by private or public transport, with the help of relatives or friends if necessary. NHS-funded non-emergency patient transportation is reserved for when this is essential to ensure an individual’s safety, safe mobilisation, condition management or recovery. This principle applies for patients attending in-centre haemodialysis just as it does to other patients, but we are committed to providing enhanced support to those who can travel more independently.

As such, systems should implement flexible mechanisms that offer transport support to:
a) Patients (including friends or family) who are able to travel independently but require reimbursement or a form of expense payment. This includes:
i. patients who are eligible for the HTCS
ii. patients who require upfront financial support
iii. patients who are happy to be reimbursed
b) Patients who have a need to travel by NEPTS

There is no requirement for patients to take up this offer. However, they should be made aware of this and any other related support such as the free car parking offer and any
transport signposting services if they are available.

The universal offer of transport support does not extend to a patient’s relatives, friends, escorts and/or carers unless the associated criteria for escorts and carers in the NEPTS
eligibility criteria are met. If they are not, an escort or carer is not eligible to travel via NEPTS or to be funded to travel by public transport.

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