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Adults going into and leaving hospital

Transport to and from hospital

Public transport

There are public buses that go to or nearby hospitals in Surrey, please see the following bus timetables for information on services. If you are attending a hospital appointment in London, train timetables can be found on the Transport for London's (TFL) website.

Community Transport

These schemes include Community Buses, Dial-a-Ride, Voluntary Car Schemes and Demand Responsive Transport (DRT). Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles are another method of transport and taxis can provide wheelchair user accessible vehicles and there are taxi voucher schemes available in some parts of Surrey. For more information about all of these schemes, please see Community Transport.

If you are unable to use public or community transport

If you are to attend an outpatient appointment at a hospital and, due to your medical condition, you are unable to use other forms of transport, you may qualify for hospital transport. Please see the hospital transport information page for more details.

Other organisations which offer help with medical transport include:

Please be aware that a fee is likely to be charged for these services and make sure you know the likely cost before booking.

Can I get help with my travel costs to hospital?

You may be able to receive financial help from the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme if you get certain benefits or are on a low income.

Please also see:

Help will normally only cover the cost of public or private transport (whichever is the cheaper). You can claim for the cost of taxis or volunteer car service if your mobility is restricted or public transport not available. You can also have any necessary car parking charges paid for.

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Support whilst you are in hospital

If you already receive social care services before you go into hospital, this will continue if it involves collecting your pension or any other duties required in your home whilst you are away.

If you don't receive social care and you live alone and require matters at home to be attended to whilst you are in hospital, there are voluntary services at Surrey hospitals which may be able to help. You would need to ask staff at the hospital where you are located to find out more about the help you can receive from voluntary services whilst you are in hospital.

Even if you didn't receive social care services before you went into hospital, doctors may refer you to our Adult social care teams in hospital if they feel you have social care needs as a result of your reason for being in hospital. The social care teams will liaise with hospital staff, voluntary services and if necessary the Community Care Team to ensure your needs are met once you are discharged from hospital.

Please also see:

What happens to my benefits when I go into hospital?

Your benefits may be affected if you go into hospital depending on which benefits you are getting and the length of your stay. There are special rules which affect Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance. You will not be entitled to Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance if your stay is longer than 28 days (or 12 weeks if you are aged under 16). If you get Carer's Allowance for looking after someone who is in hospital then you will no longer be entitled to this benefit when their disability benefit stops. If you go into hospital, you can continue to receive Carer's Allowance for up to 12 weeks. For more information, see the Disability Rights UK's factsheet.

Please also see: Tax credits if you or a member of the family goes into hospital on the website.

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Help and advice surrounding leaving hospital

Social care teams based in Surrey hospitals

Our social care teams based in hospitals can help with information and advice when you are ready to leave hospital.

If you already have a Care Plan in place or need a personal care package once you leave hospital, the social care team can carry out an assessment of your needs on the ward.

A relative, a carer or relevant hospital staff may also approach the hospital social care team and ask them to carry out an assessment on the ward, but this will not go ahead unless you agree.

There are a variety of services covered by the assessment, which you may or may not need. These include services provided by your local district or borough council or the Department for Work and Pensions:

If you have long term ongoing needs in your home, then you may be entitled to Helping you stay independent at home

Local voluntary organisations

Our social care teams can introduce you to local voluntary organisations which can help, short term, with a variety of services such as laundry and domestic cleaning, or sitting services and befriending services. Please contact our Adult Social Care helpline on 0300 200 1005 for more information.

Please contact us on 0300 200 1005 or complete an online form, if you have any general enquiries about what care in available after leaving hospital.

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Resolving concerns or problems with a hospital

If you have any problems with a Surrey hospital that you find you are unable to resolve, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs) for advice and help. There is a PALs located at each Surrey hospital and they provide advice and support, helping you to resolve any concerns you may have about the care that hospitals provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS.

What do PALs do?

  • Advise and support patients, their families and carers about health matters
  • Provide information on local health services and national health initiatives
  • Help sort out problems quickly on your behalf, this could include supporting you to make a formal complaint or putting you in touch with an independent support service if you wish
  • Listen to your concerns, suggestions, queries and comments which will help us to review existing services and develop new initiatives.

Patients, carers, relatives or friends can contact PALS and confidentiality is respected in all matters reported to PALs.

You can contact the Surrey PCT PALs using the contact information on the NHS Surrey website.

If you would prefer to speak to the PALs located at the specific hospital involved, please use this link to the Find NHS Services search engine on the NHS Choices website, to find the Surrey hospital and then click on the appropriate link to their website. You should find PALs listed in their main menu of links.

If you require further assistance please contact us on 0300 200 1005 or complete an online form.

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Page information

  • Updated: 03 Jun 2013
  • Sonya Sellar
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