"Using a taxi is very expensive on my pension"

About: Bristol Eye Hospital Bristol Royal Infirmary / General surgery South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

The Bristol Eye Hospital arranged for an ambulance to collect me from and home and bring me back after my appointment. It is an absolutely wonderful service and I'd like to say a BIG thank you to the hospital for arranging it and to the ambulance service for transport they provide.

What I can't understand is why I cannot use this service when I have to go for appointments to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. When I call the Great Western Ambulance Service, they say it's means tested and I cannot use it. I live in Weston Super Mare and using a taxi is very expensive on my pension.

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Hi Keen183

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your story.

As the ambulance service we do not means test patients as we are not the body who makes the decisions regarding any patients eligibility for Patient Transport. We transport patients whose eligibility has been considered and approved by their GP or the hospital department they are attending. It is possible that hospital departments and doctors will make different judgments, so you may want wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at NHS North Somerset CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), on 0800 073 0907, who should be able to help clarify the process for making decisions regarding transport.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to provide us with feedback.


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