The Department does not collect information on the cost of the Hospital Travel Costs scheme, nor on how many patients have claimed a reimbursement under the scheme. It is for primary care trusts, as local commissioners of healthcare services, to make provisions so that patients with either a financial or a medical need for transport can travel to and from their treatment or care.
Funding for the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme is built into financial allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs), who commission hospital services on behalf of patients. This has not been explicitly identified, in line with the policy to devolve decision making to a local level.
PCTs are responsible for reimbursing healthcare providers for the payments made under the scheme for all patients resident within their districts. Where the treatment given is within the scope of the national tariff, reimbursement will be included in the tariff payment. Where the treatment given is outside the scope of the national tariff, the PCT should make arrangements for healthcare providers to be reimbursed at periodic intervals.