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Find out whether you are entitled to help with NHS travel costs to see a consultant.

First published:
24 September 2020
Last updated:

Help with travel costs

If you need to travel to receive NHS treatment under the care of a consultant, you may be entitled to help with necessary travel costs.

You may be eligible for help if:

  • you are getting certain benefits
  • you have a low income 
  • you are 16 or over but under 20 and are counted as a dependant of someone getting certain benefits
  • you are 16 or over and not a dependant of a person who gets benefits or credits. In this case you can make your own claim, even if you live with your parents. Read Low Income Scheme

If the patient is a child under 16, it is their parent's income that counts. 

If you are not sure what travel costs you can get help with, ask the hospital before you travel.

You will be expected to travel by the cheapest means of transport which is reasonable for you to use.

If in the opinion of your consultant, you need someone to travel with you, your companion's travel costs are added to your travel costs. It will be your income that counts.

Claim a refund for travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment

Usually, an NHS hospital will give you your refund when you go for treatment. If this is not possible complete the HC5W(T) refund claim form. The form tells you what to do.

Get help with the cost of travelling to NHS treatment abroad

You may be able to get help with the cost of travel from home to the international rail terminal, port or airport where you leave Great Britain (GB). The arrangements are the same as if you were travelling from home to hospital treatment.

Regardless of your income, you can get help with the cost of return travel from the point where you leave GB to where you are going to be treated. Your method (e.g. air or rail) and cost of travel must be agreed before you travel. You should ask the person arranging your treatment about this. If a companion is medically necessary, you should ask about help with their travel costs.