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I have to attend my nearest specialist eye clinic tomorrow as an emergency. It's nearly 30 miles away.

It's far too short notice to arrange for someone with a car to take me - though actually I don't know anyone with a car who could do it anyway, and I don't even have someone available to accompany me on public transport, nor can I wheel my self in the wheelchair, which I would definitely need for such a journey.

I only got back from my local A & E, who have referred me, half an hour ago but from what I've found online and what they said, getting hospital transport at such short notice is just not going to happen, so my only alternative would appear to be a taxi, approximate cost £50 each way. I'll do it if I absolutely have to - my eyesight is definitely worth £100 - but can anyone suggest an alternative at such short notice? I have to be there by 10 in the morning.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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I have to attend my nearest specialist eye clinic tomorrow as an emergency. It's nearly 30 miles away.

It's far too short notice to arrange for someone with a car to take me - though actually I don't know anyone with a car who could do it anyway, and I don't even have someone available to accompany me on public transport, nor can I wheel my self in the wheelchair, which I would definitely need for such a journey.

I only got back from my local A & E, who have referred me, half an hour ago but from what I've found online and what they said, getting hospital transport at such short notice is just not going to happen, so my only alternative would appear to be a taxi, approximate cost £50 each way. I'll do it if I absolutely have to - my eyesight is definitely worth £100 - but can anyone suggest an alternative at such short notice? I have to be there by 10 in the morning.

 

 

I can think of two alternatives.

 

 

The first is for you to contact the hospital and enquire about volunteer hospital transport. Many hospitals have volunteer drivers, driving their own car to help people such as you out.

The second is to contact your GP surgery and explain the position. They should be able to put something in place for you.

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Thanks for replying.

Unfortunately even if your suggestions had been posted before my appointment (not a criticism, it was always a long shot that anyone would be able to help in time) iit was too short notice for any of them - I had to be there by 10 this morning which meant leaving home before anyone was open.

Having had ample opportunity to raise the issue with staff in the unit, which is the specialist acute referral unit for a large area and therefore quite likely to encounter similar issues regularly, they know that it's something of a loophole in the system as all the available transport, volunteer or otherwise, has to be booked in advance. Since by definition 'acute' implies sudden onset but the majority of cases aren't serious enough to need an ambulance, they often have people phoning for help in getting there which they are simply not able to provide. It cost me £108, which is probably well beyond the means of a lot of their patients.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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You may be able to recover your travel costs via "the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme: Instructions And Guidance For The NHS" which is on the government's website, if you are on a low income. I have found that they are very helpful particularly if you explain the circumstances . It's worth a try.

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Again many thanks for the replies. I'm not on a low income so can't reclaim the taxi cost, though I did notice a large sign in the hospital saying 'we will not reimburse taxi fares under any circumstances'. I suspect that's not actually true though - I can't be the only person unable to use public transport.

 

As for how it went, well, I've seen rather more of an acute referral unit than I ever wanted to since everything takes so long - put these drops in then go back to the waiting room for an hour to see if they've worked and all that. On the other hand the care I was given was absolutely first rate even though I apparently have a very rare condition which most of the staff hadn't seen before and which prompted a queue of people asking if I minded them having a look!

 

My eyes do need rest but should fully recover in time, though I'm likely to have regular flare-ups for life now. As always, I could sit in the corner and cry, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who would think news like that is excellent compared to the news they've been given.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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