Welcome to Patient Transport Service 

People are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we are committed to provide a professional high-quality service across the East Midlands, 365 days a year.

EMAS currently provides non-emergency patient transport (NEPTS) in Derbyshire and Northamptonshire for patients who need medical or clinical support to get to and from their healthcare appointments. In July this year, this service has been further extended to Lincolnshire after the 10-year contract was awarded to EMAS, meaning we will deliver both the control room and transport provision for the county. 

Our aim is to provide a safe and reliable service to eligible patients. This gives them, and their families, the reassurance that they will get to their vital scheduled appointments on time. We reduce the potential anxiety that our patients may have otherwise faced in figuring out the logistics of using alternative modes of transportation which would not be able to meet their specific medical needs throughout their journey.

During 2022/2023, we provided care and support across Derbyshire and Northamptonshire during 303,331 journeys, which included 4,925 journeys undertaken by the Volunteer Car Drivers.

The service received 234,808 phone calls from NHS colleagues and patients to make or amend a journey booking.

Over 400 well-trained NEPTS staff and volunteers are dedicated to delivering outstanding patient care for our non-emergency patients who require our specialist support to get to and from their hospital appointments safely in a monitored and controlled environment.

Please consider whether you, a family member, friend or carer are able to drive yourself to your appointment before requesting transport.

If you identify no other suitable alternative of getting to and from your healthcare appointment, please get in touch with us on 0300 300 3434 and they will assess your eligibility for transport.

Update to our Patient Transport Service to remain COVID-19 safe

We are continuing to take all necessary steps to ensure that our NEPTS is able to convey patients as safely as possible in relation to COVID-19.

Since 21 April 2022 we have been able to transport more than one patient per journey to their healthcare appointments. This is due to the removal of the requirement to have patients sat apart from each other at a distance of at least two metres, provided none of the patients on board have any respiratory symptoms (for example, flu) and can wear a face mask.

Patients who cannot wear a face mask due to a health exemption may also travel with other patients provided they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. We will continue to call you ahead of your appointment to ask a series of questions to ensure your safety, and the safety of our other patients and PTS crews.

You may wish to bring a coat to wear during your journey as we will need to keep windows open on our vehicles to ensure adequate ventilation measures are in place. Letting fresh air into indoor spaces helps remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

These steps significantly increase our capacity and ability to provide transport for those most in need.

A chaperone is only eligible to travel with you if there is a medical need to support you during your journey.

To make sure we have enough space for other patients, please only ask for a chaperone to accompany you on your journey if one is genuinely required to support you during transportation. This will help us maximise the number of patients we can accommodate on a single journey, so we can continue to provide an acceptable level of service to people who need to get to and from their vital healthcare appointments in a timely manner. 

If you do require a chaperone to assist you during your appointment, they are able to meet you at your destination. An eligible chaperone that is required to support you during your journey must wear a face mask, with no exceptions allowed. This provides the safest means of transport for you and all our other patients as COVID-19 is still with us.

Thank you for continuing to play your part to protect yourselves and other service users as we navigate forwards.

If you have any concerns or queries, then you can call us on 0300 300 3434.

EMAS has provided non-emergency patient transport for people with routine hospital or clinical appointments who are registered with GPs in Derbyshire (including the Chesterfield area) since August 2016 and in Northamptonshire since December 2019.

We receive over 17,500 phone calls from NHS colleagues and patients to make or amend a journey booking each month.

We are thrilled that our NEPTS contracts have recently been renewed in Derbyshire until March 2024, and in Northamptonshire until March 2025, meaning we will continue to fulfil our commitment to delivering outstanding patient care in these areas for our non-emergency patients who require our specialist support.

In addition, following our successful tender bid, a new 10-year contract has been awarded to EMAS, meaning we will deliver both the control room and transport provision function for NEPTS in Lincolnshire from Saturday, 1 July 2023.

Each month, on average, our 120 PTS vehicles make 20,000 journeys.

The vehicles that we use to provide our service are equipped to support any patient with any mobility need. 

They also have dementia friendly features like grey flooring to reassure patients that the floor is safe to stand on. Previously the colour of the floor was blue which patients with dementia may misinterpret as water. 

Overarching Principle

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.  

Reason for the appointment

Only patients who meet one of the below reasons for an appointment will be considered for eligibility for NEPTS: 

  1. The patient has been referred by a doctor, dentist or ophthalmic practitioner for non-primary care NHS-funded healthcare services – that is, diagnostics or treatment. 
  2. The patient is being discharged from NHS-funded treatment.

Qualifying Criteria

The patient is likely to qualify for non-emergency patient transport if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  1. They have a medical need for transport, typically because they may require oxygen and are unable to self-administer this during transit, need specialised equipment during the journey, need to be closely monitored during the journey, or need to be transferred to another hospital. 

  2. They have a cognitive or sensory impairment requiring the oversight of a member of specialist or non-specialist patient transport staff or a suitably trained driver.
  3. They have a significant mobility need that means they are unable to make their own way with relatives/friends and/or escorts/carers whether by private transport (including a specially adapted vehicle if appropriate for the journey), public transport or a taxi.
  4. They are travelling to or returning from in-centre haemodialysis, in which case specialist transport, non-specialist transport or upfront/reimbursement costs for private travel will be made available. 
  5. A safeguarding concern has been raised by any relevant professional involved in a patient’s life, in relation to the patient travelling independently.
  6. They have wider mobility or medical needs that have resulted in treatment or discharge being missed or severely delayed.

Understand the full detail of the NEPTS eligibility criteria

If you are not eligible for NHS funded transport, you may qualify for help with travel costs under the healthcare travel cost scheme (HTCS). 

If you meet the eligibility criteria, please contact the booking line: 0300 300 3434

We are pleased to have you as part of the team, serving the community together. If you think you have what it takes to help provide quality patient transport to and from healthcare appointments as a Volunteer Car Driver, or if you are interested in our other volunteer roles within EMAS, such as Community First Responders, Community Trainer Volunteer, please visit our volunteering webpage for more information.