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Transport to Health Appointments consultation

We worked with Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (DDES CCG) and North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (ND CCG) to ask users of home to health appointments transport services for their views. Feedback has been used to influence how the new service will be run.


Some people are entitled to free ambulance transport for non-emergency hospital appointments.

If you are not entitled, or are unable to get to an appointment by yourself, a number of options are currently available. These include:

  • East Durham Hospital Link and Dales Hospital Link (for hospital appointments and visitors)
  • two volunteer car driver schemes (for appointments to hospitals, doctors' surgeries and health centres)

Eligibility criteria and charges apply for these services.

What is happening?

For several reasons, both the Hospital Link and volunteer driver schemes will stop from Friday 30 June 2017. However, the CCGs want to keep a service going because they understand how valuable it is.

Your say

In July 2016 we asked you to tell us about:

  • what you value about the service(s)
  • how often you use them
  • what you think could be improved or done differently if this type of service was to be offered in the future
  • what other transport services you know about
  • any other comments about these services
  • eligibility criteria and charging

The consultation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded.

What will happen next

Your comments have been used to help create a new service that will replace the existing ones. The service will provide door to door transportation for eligible patients to and from their healthcare appointments (including GP and hospital).

We will have detailed information about how the new service will operate during May 2017. We will contact GPs, hospitals and those who use the service to explain booking arrangements, new eligibility criteria and any changes to travel charges.

For now, nothing is changing. If you currently use any of the existing volunteer driver and Hospital Link services, you can and should continue to do so as normal.

If you have any queries, please email your question to necsu.comms@nhs.net or telephone 01642 745 401.

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