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