Date lodged: 20 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken to facilitate non-medical emergency transportation for people who require it.
Answered by: Shona Robison 10 April 2018
As part of its core funding from the Scottish Government, the Scottish Ambulance Service delivers the Patient Transport Service for patients who have a need for assistance from skilled clinical staff during transport to healthcare appointments.
If the Scottish Ambulance Service feel that a patient does not have a clinical need for patient transport, they will be signposted to information regarding alternative transport providers, where applicable.
There are a number of community based initiatives to provide transport to patients and some Health and Social Care Partnerships will link with voluntary organisations or community groups who provide transport via volunteer drivers. Information on accessing these Services is often available to patients at their local GP practice.
Also, under the National Health Service (Travel Expenses and Remission of Charges) Regulations 2003, travel expenses incurred by patients to attend hospital appointments can be reimbursed for individuals who are on certain types of benefits or a low income. This is based on an assessment of each claimant's ability to pay in light of their financial circumstances at the time a claim is made or a charge was paid.
All of these services and systems are in place to support patients throughout Scotland in travelling to and from healthcare appointments.