Hospital Transport

Hospital Transport

Free Transport

When you are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, getting to hospital appointments for treatment should be the least of your worries.  But for many people living in rural communities, the distance from home to hospital can be a barrier to getting to these appointments, causing anxiety at a difficult time.

And that’s where we can help.

Our Hospital Transport Service can take this worry away by providing free transport to and from your appointments.  Our volunteer drivers will pick you up from your home in their own car, ensure you get to your appointment in good time, and bring you home when you’ve finished.

People tell us that they like the personal service we offer, the anonymity of being picked up in someone’s own car and always being greeted by a friendly and welcoming face.

All of our drivers have four-door cars, are fully insured and have disclosure and barring checks (DBS).

On average our drivers cover 43,000 miles, making over 800 journeys a year helping people get to their appointments.

Can Anyone Request this Service?

Hospital Transport is available for patients who meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years or over.
  • Diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and where the treatment received is directly linked to this life-limiting illness e.g. radiotherapy, chemotherapy, x-rays/scans, blood transfusions, physiotherapy, lymphedema treatment.
  • Registered with a GP practice in our catchment area (West Northumberland, Tynedale and Ponteland areas).
  • Are independently mobile (with the use of walking aid) unless a responsible adult known to the patient is travelling with them to assist.

We are very sorry, but we are unable to provide transport for the following:

  • Patients requiring oxygen therapy.
  • Patients who require their own wheelchair to be transported in a volunteer driver’s car.  If a patient needs assistance with walking they must be accompanied by a responsible adult who will be able to obtain a wheelchair on arrival at the hospital.
  • Patients with dementia who are travelling alone.
  • Appointments not directly related to a life-limiting illness.

For further details, please request our Transport Guideline pack.

How Do I Request Hospital Transport?

You can request Hospital Transport at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment by calling 01434 600 388.

You can also ask a family member or carer to make the call on your behalf but they should be in a position to answer questions relating to your need for Hospital Transport.

When you contact us we will go through a brief questionnaire with you to ensure your eligibility to use this service.

*please note that Tynedale Hospice at Home provides transport at its sole discretion and reserves the right to decline offering of transport at any time.

How do I cancel my Hospital Transport if I no longer need it?

Where possible, please give us plenty of notice if you no longer need Hospital Transport.  You can cancel your transport at any time by calling 01434 600 388 (24 hours) and leave a message if it’s out of office hours.

Who Can I Travel With?

An escort can travel with you if you require them to be with you during your hospital appointment.

Did you know?

Our Hospital Transport Service is quite unique. Delivered entirely by a team of 30 volunteers, they provide a door to door service – and it’s completely free. The Hospice cover the mileage for our drivers. It costs around £40,000 per year to run the service.

Our volunteer drivers travel 43,000 miles and make around 800 journeys on average each year.

The area we cover is an incredible 800 square miles!

The Transport Service in Action

Wendy, from Stocksfield, knows only too well what a lifeline Tynedale Hospice at Home’s Hospital Transport Service is.  Nine years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and used the service every day for six weeks while she underwent radiotherapy treatment.

“No one was more surprised than me when I was diagnosed with cancer.  I was only 60, still working and enjoying life, and it really was a bolt from the blue,” Wendy explained.  “But once I had had a chance for the news to sink in my thoughts turned to the treatment I was facing and what I had to do to get well again.

“It was only when the doctor told me I would need to attend the hospital every day Monday to Friday for six weeks that I started thinking about the practical implications of how my diagnosis would affect me – up until that time it was my worries were mainly around the physical impact.  My husband Eddie was working full time at the time and wasn’t able to take me every day.  Of course, I have friends nearby who, while they would have been more than happy to help, were all working themselves.   How I was going to make the appointments became quite a worry and the last thing I wanted to have to think about with everything that was going on.”

It was Wendy’s district nurse who told her about Tynedale Hospice at Home’s Hospital Transport Service.

“I can’t tell you what a difference the service made,” Wendy continues.  “It was just wonderful.  The drivers were fantastic – so polite, warm and friendly.  Being picked up from your door and driven home again afterwards made such a difference. The fact that you are the only patient in the car it felt almost like a friend was taking you out for the day!

“During my treatment I had about four different drivers and they were all fabulous.  They were totally responsive to my mood so if I was nervous, they always seemed to say the right thing to relax me and they picked up on my queues if I was happy to chat and we chatted away like old friends. It made what was a very difficult time much easier.

“The communication between the Hospice and myself was brilliant. I always knew the name of the person who was collecting me and they always turned up in good time – I was never late for any appointment.  It really was a five star service and we’re so lucky that it’s available in our area.”

What others say about us…

“Knowing I would be collected from my own home and taken to hospital for my treatment and then returned home was wonderful. No worries about parking or finding places.”

‘‘To all staff, I would like to thank you all for the help given to me whilst recently attending radiotherapy at Freeman hospital. You are all a very highly organised team which enabled my care to be stress free at all times whilst attending for my treatment. All the volunteer drivers were brilliant and very friendly.”

“Our patients speak very highly of all the drivers and the service and feel that without the support they receive would be unable to cope with so many visits to hospital and would actually be unable to complete long weeks of radiotherapy without the on-going support.”

“This service is invaluable to our patients and their families, without it many would have to spend long days relying on hospital transport when they are unwell and feeling overwhelmed by all the treatment and appointments they have to attend.”