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Travelling to NHS Services

Do you need help travelling to NHS services?

Healthwatch England recently posted an article looking at the support available when travelling to your GP and other NHS services. To read more.

Carers in Bedfordshire have put together a guide on what is available in Bedfordshire.

Healthwatch England recently posted an article looking at the support available when travelling to your GP and other NHS services. To read more.

Carers in Bedfordshire have put together a guide on what is available in Bedfordshire.

Patient Transport

 The main Patient Transport Service is run by East of England Ambulance Service.

This service is for non-emergency, pre-planned appointments or patient transfers. It can be used for patients who have a medical condition or mobility issue which prevents them from using either their own transport, public transport, asking family or friends, or voluntary and community transport schemes (for more details see below).

You will need to be ready 2 hours before your appointment.

You can self-refer to use this service. They will ask questions to check your eligibility. Have your NHS number ready. Ring 0345 605 1208

There is one other Patient Transport available in the county:

Leighton Buzzard Voluntary Patient Transport (LBVPT)
Transport to hospital appointments at L&D, Milton Keynes, Stoke Mandeville, Bedford, High Wycombe & Amersham 07873 497 633

Parking at the local hospitals

Parking is limited at both local hospitals especially at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital.

To find out more about parking at Bedford Hospital, visit

For South Wing there is a local Park and Ride which you might find easier to use, than trying to park at Bedford Hospital, Elstow Park and Ride Bus Service. Read more at Bedford Borough Council’s website.

Parking at North Wing is also limited.  But there is St Peter’s Street Car Park which is around a 10 minute walk. It is also cheaper. For details.

Luton & Dunstable University Hospital recommends due to restricted parking that you either use public transport or be dropped off. For details.

At L&D Hospital, as a carer you can apply for a Concessionary Parking Pass. This means parking will cost £1 per visit or £4 for a full day pass.  For more information, ask Ward Staff or click here.

If you are going to Lister Hospital, there is more parking available due to multi-story car park. For details.

Disabled Parking - Blue Badge Holders

You can apply for a Blue Badge, if the person you care for is struggling to walk or has a “hidden condition” such as dementia, anxiety, autism etc. which causes them considerable psychological distress when out. This means you can park near to where you need to go. It also gives you free parking.

To apply for a Blue Badge:

Bedford Borough Council 
Central Bedfordshire Council Blue Badge

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

These generally cost more than a normal taxi but are useful if you cannot transfer out of your wheelchair easily.

Bedford based – Ezee Cabs 01234 273 333 or 07747 125 126

Bedford based – Anglia Cars 01234 320 032  

Central Bedfordshire Cars 01767 600 300

Flitwick based – A1 Station Taxis 01525 757 575 

Flitwick based – Flitwick Taxis 01525 405 060

Freephones at the L&D Hospital –Spearhead Carers 01582 50 50 50

Community Transport Schemes

This service is available to anyone who is unable to use public transport due to a disability. There will be a small charge for the journey. To discuss eligibility, contact:

For Bedford and Greensands area, contact BRCC on 01234 834 933.
Advanced bookings for specific health-related appointments can be made further in advance by ringing between 9am to 4pm on 01234 834 933.

Ivel Valley & West Mid Beds Link-a-Ride 01525 840 511

Mid Beds - Flittabus Community Transport 07960 388 111

For South Beds contact South Beds Dial-a-Ride on 01525 220 044

For Leighton Buzzard to Woburn area contact Buzzer Buses on 01525 853 566

Good Neighbour Schemes

Good Neighbour Schemes can provide lifts to your GP or your local hospital.  All Good Neighbour volunteers are insured and DBS-checked.

Schemes are throughout Bedfordshire. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 01234 832 648 for further details.

British Red Cross

If you have had a stay in hospital, the Home Support and Reablement Scheme by British Red Cross will collect you from hospital. They will also help you settle back home and help with attending further appointments as well as collecting prescriptions, shopping etc.
To discuss eligibility, ring 01234 341 503 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Travelling on Public Transport

If you are making frequent trips by public transport, you can buy daily, weekly or monthly season tickets. Local bus companies include:

Stagecoach
Season Tickets
Journey Assistance Cards

Grant Palmer
Season Tickets

Arriva
Season Tickets
Journey Assistance Cards

Trains: disability train card, people over 60

If you are regularly travelling by train, rail cards can give a discount of 1/3 of the price.

Disabled Person’s Railcard - Receiving certain benefits

Senior Railcard – anyone aged 60 or over – 1/3 off rail fares

Two Together Railcard – two named adults travelling together – 1/3 off rail fares

Family & Friends Railcard

If you or the person you care for needs wheelchair access or assistance when travelling by train Passenger Assist on the Trains scheme might be able to help.

Refund for your hospital transport costs

You can claim a refund for the cost of your travel or taking your child to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme either using public transport or your car.

You must meet the eligibility criteria, so check this out first.

You cannot claim for the cost a taxi unless previously agreed.

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