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Transport

Do you struggle to get to hospital and GP practices for your healthcare appointments.  The following services are available for healthcare appointments and Durham County Council Link2 service is available for any purpose.  All three have eligibility criteria.


Help to Health

Help to Health - delivered by local charities Supportive (www.supportive.org.uk) and Volunteering Matters (www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk) - covers the Durham Dales, Easington, Sedgefield, Derwentside, Durham or Chester-le-Street areas, transporting eligible patients to planned primary and secondary healthcare appointments.  Durham Dales Edginton and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (DDES CCG) and North Durham CCG have worked jointly with Durham County Council to commission Help to Health.

The Help to Health booking line - 0300 3309424 - is open Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays, with transport available 8:30 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays.

Eligibility criteria applies.  Eligible patients are those whose medical condition impacts on their mobility to such an extent that they would be unable to access healthcare and/or it would be detrimental to the patient's condition or recovery to travel by other means. You will be asked some questions when you call to make sure you are eligible for transport.

Any booking is dependent on a volunteer with an appropriate vehicle being available to transport the patient at the required date and time.  People can book transport up to four weeks before their appointment date, but must book a minimum of 48 hours before their appointment date.  Same day requests cannot be accepted.

Help to Health relies on volunteer drivers to transport people in their community.  As such, Help to Health is only available for planned healthcare appointments such as hospital appointments, GP surgery, health centre, community hospital or facility, dental surgery and not for social purposes such as visiting a relative or friend in hospital.

Journeys are changed at 45p per mile or part mile travelled, plus any car parking charges which are incurred.  This is to help cover the volunteer drivers' expenses in line with HMRC guidance. There is a minimum charge of £1 (each way) and a maximum of £10 (each way).

You will be asked to pay at the end of your journey.   People who are eligible to claim through the NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme can claim back the cost of their travel to planned hospital appointments with Help to Health.  To find out about the NHS  healthcare travel costs scheme visit www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcosts/pages/travelcosts.aspx.

For more details on Help to Health, becoming a volunteer driver or to register to receive the service, please call 0300 3309424 or visit helptohealth.org.uk

Map of Area Covered:

Updated: 17/11/2018

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Link2

Link2 is a new accessible dial-a-ride bus from Durham County Council for people making local journeys for which there is no other suitable bus.

Link2 also provides an enhanced service for those unable to access mainstream public transport due to mobility issues.

Link2 will pick up and set down at your door and can be booked time and time again.  It can be used for shopping, work, training, health appointments, virtually anything you need to travel for.

Link2 can be used for any local journey by people who are disabled or have other personal mobility problems which prevent them from using ordinary bus services.

Concessionary pass holders travel for free, other passengers will pay fares in line with other mainstream public transport services.

Too book a Link2 journey, simply call 03000 269 999.  The booking line is open Monday to Thursday 8:30 am to 5 pm and Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Click here to download their leaflet in pdf format or click here to go to Durham County Council Link2 website.

Added: 11/03/2019

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North East Ambulance Service

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) provides pre-planned, non-emergency transport for patients who have a medical condition that would prevent them from travelling to a treatment centre by any other means, or who require the skills of an ambulance care assistant during the journey.

The Patient Transport Service (PTS) is an important operational service for NEAS.

PTS vehicles are designed for the comfort and safety of the patients and the latest vehicles have more space for wheel-chair users and tail lifts for convenience.  The Patient Transport Service conveys a wide range of patients to and from their homes to out-patients' appointments, clinics, physiotherapy or non-urgent inter-hospital transfers.  Crews are trained as ambulance care assistants with specialist knowledge of comprehensive first aid, driving skills and patient moving and handling techniques.

What you can expect from us  
We understand that going to hospital can be a worrying time for you. We want your experience of our Patient Transport Service to be comforable and to run as smoothly as possible. This is why it is important that you know what you can expect when using our services. For more information, please click here.

Booking process  
For information about making a booking and how to cancel a booking, please click the link here.

Volunteering opportunities in PTS  There are two ways of volunteering for our Patient Transport Service, becoming a Volunteer Ambulance Car (ACS) Driver and becoming a Volunteer Porter.

Updated: 12/2/2018

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