SUMMARY OF ENTITLEMENT TO FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Patient Travel Scheme - all NHS Scotland patients are entitled to help with travel costs if they are in receipt of certain income based benefits. This assistance is not dependent on distance travelled.
The Highlands and Islands Patient Travel Scheme recognises that patients who are resident in the Highlands and Islands may be required to travel significant distances to attend hospital appointments given the geography of the area. Under this scheme all patients from the former Highlands and Islands Development Board areas are entitled to financial assistance with their travel costs if they live more than 30 miles from the hospital they are attending. Patients not on a qualifying benefit are required to pay the first £10 of any claim.
The Patient travel schemes are not designed to fully reimburse patients for the full cost of travelling to attend an appointment but to provide a contribution towards the cost.
Who Can Claim Expenses?
Patients (who have a permanent address in the NHS Highland area) and authorised escorts. An escort is defined as being for a patient who needs assistance to ensure the safe completion of the journey to or from hospital.
Escorts must return home at the earliest opportunity, however if they choose to stay they must do so at their own expense. Escorts who are required to accompany patient to and from hospital may either return home and travel back to hospital on patients discharge, or remain near the hospital (provided the cost of accommodation does not exceed that of the second return journey which would otherwise have been required).
What can be claimed?
Patients travelling by car are entitled to be reimbursed for fuel expenses at the prevailing mileage rate.
Patients travelling by Public Transport - standard class bus, train and ferry fares can be reclaimed upon production of receipts.
Taxis – travel by taxi should be seen as last resort and reimbursement will be considered in certain circumstances, e.g. no public transport availability, and must be approved prior to journey.
Accommodation - patients and approved escorts will be entitled to have overnight stay costs refunded at the current rate per person per night, if the stay is unavoidable due to the time of the appointment, admission, or discharge.
What expenses cannot be claimed?
The following cannot be claimed –
· Visiting expenses
· Loss of earnings
· Subsistence (meals and refreshments)
· Parking fines
· Childcare costs
· Car hire
A full copy of the Policy can be found here.
RATES OF REIMBURSEMENT & DEDUCTION
As at 1st July 2016
| Patient Contribution
| Mileage Rate
||13p per mile*|
| Overnight B&B Rate
||Up to a maximum of £36 per person per night|
| Overnight with Family/Friends
||£10 per night|
*The rate of reimbursement is based on the HMRC Fuel Advisory Rate for a petrol engine 1400cc to 2000cc. The reimbursement rate for each financial year will be determined by the Advisory Rate from 1st March. The rates can go down as well as up.