Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Isle of Wight's non-emergency patient transport service:

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 patient transportation is reserved for when it is considered essential to ensuring an individual’s safety, safe mobilisation, condition management or recovery.

Patients registered with an Isle of Wight GP practice may be eligible for NHS-funded Non-emergency Patient Transport if:

  • Their ability to travel by private or public transport for the purposes of daily living is compromised.
  • They require additional support from the Patient Transport Service crew during the journey.
  • Travelling by any others means would have a serious detrimental effect the patient’s condition.

A patient’s eligibility for NHS-funded Non-emergency Patient Transport is assessed against national criteria.

You will need to be referred by your GP or another health professional such as a dentist or ophthalmic practitioner to access the service currently. They will arrange transport to non-primary care NHS-funded healthcare services on your behalf.

The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) do not provide transport to primary care services, but may be used for healthcare treatment delivered in primary care settings.

Hovertravel NHS Patient Fares

Discounted NHS patient fares are available for patients and a plus one travelling from Ryde to Southsea for an NHS appointment, subject to production of NHS appointment card or letter at time of boarding. ‘NHS Patient Regular Travel Cards’ are available on Hovertravel’s website as well as details of free onward travel available.

Wightlink Healthcare Discount

Wightlink offer a special 50% travel discount for Island residents attending NHS appointments whether they are travelling as foot passengers or in a vehicle.

The NHS discount is available for the patient plus one other traveller, or if the patient is a child, two parents are permitted to travel alongside.

Red Funnell Healthcare Travel Scheme

Red Funnel's Healthcare Travel Scheme provides discounted foot passenger travel to eligible customers who have an NHS medical appointment in Southampton, or on the Isle of Wight.

A special return passenger ferry fare of £11.80 per person is available for the patient and a companion. Where the patient is a child, the discounted fare is available for up to 2 adults travelling with the child. Please note the fare applies to sailings from West Cowes and Southampton T2 after 08:45, although exceptions may be made for earlier appointments.

There is a form to fill in if you need to travel by car ferry.

Wessex Daisy Bus

Daisy Buses support patients from the Isle of Wight with free transport to Southampton General Hospital (SGH) and Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH). Timetables and further information, including contact details, are available here.

Voluntary and Community Transport Services

The Isle of Wight has a number of voluntary car services and community transport schemes. However, some are specific to particular user groups. You can also contact your local parish council to ask what services are available in your area. Find more information on voluntary and community transport services here.

If you’re referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist, or another primary care health professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS). 

To qualify for help with travel costs under the HTCS, you must meet 3 conditions:

  1. At the time of your appointment, you, or your partner (including civil partners) must receive one of the qualifying benefits or allowances or meet the eligibility criteria for the NHS Low Income Scheme
  2. You must have a referral from a healthcare professional to a specialist or a hospital for further NHS treatment or tests (often referred to as secondary care)
  3. Your appointment must be on a separate visit to when the referral was made. This applies whether your treatment is provided at a different location (hospital or clinic) or on the same premises as where the GP or another health professional issued the referral

Call the national health costs advice line on 0845 850 1166 or 0300 330 1343 or visit the healthcare travel costs scheme for more information.

If you are not on the specified benefits but have a low income, you may still be eligible for a full or partial refund through the NHS low income scheme.

If you have been refused any assistance with travel and would like to discuss the decision further please contact the Isle of Wight Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Direct Telephone: 01983 534850 or via the hospital switchboard 01983 822099


Office Hours: 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays

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