Who do we help?
We help residents who are without a car, cannot use public transport or there is no public transport available. This service is available to those who are eligible as below:
- have a health condition
- vulnerable adults
- parents with sick children
- who reside in Woodcote and the surrounding villages
We operate Monday – Friday during the day-time only.
-We are unable to offer assistance in the evenings, at the weekends or bank holidays.
-We are unable to accommodate unaccompanied children
Where do we operate?
Our drivers take clients from Woodcote, Whitchurch Hill, Checkendon, Ipsden, South Stoke, Goring Heath and Crays Pond.
Where we will take clients
Our drivers take clients from the areas as stated above, to a wide variety of locations, such as:
- Doctor’s surgeries
- Royal Berkshire Hospital (and other Reading hospitals)
- Oxford Hospitals
- Wallingford hospital
- Townlands hospital
- Other health related appointments
- Bank / building society
- Local shops
- Local social groups and recreational activities
- Lunch Clubs
– We only operate up to a 20 mile radius outside of Woodcote
If there is somewhere you need to go but it is not on this list, call us! We will try to take you where you need to go, as long as it is within a reasonable distance of our area.
How does the driver service work?
Firstly, you will need to contact the office to request a driver, click here for more details about how to book a driver.
Our drivers will collect you from your home, take you to your destination and back home again.
We will help you into and out of the car and assist you, if needed, into the building. If it is required, we can push a wheelchair, lend an arm to lean on or carry a bag.
We have organisational Blue Badges, which enables us to park in bays set aside for those with a disability, to minimise the distance you need to walk to enter the building.
All of our drivers are DBS checked and will always wear an ID badge.
At the present time, we are still being cautious with regard to Covid, so our drivers will be wearing a mask and we ask that, if possible, you do the same. We will normally drive with the window slightly open for ventilation. Our drivers may ask you to sit in the back of the car if that is possible for you.
We do not make a charge but ask you to pay the driver’s travel expenses. This is a rate of 45p per mile or a flat rate of £1.50 if the drive is within Woodcote. The office helper will tell you the approximate change you will need to have with you in order to pay the driver’s expenses at the end of the journey. If the cost of paying the driver’s expenses will cause financial difficulty, please tell the office helper as we can make alternative arrangements.
(Also, see below for help with transport costs for medical appointments).
If you have your own wheelchair and need to bring it with you, please tell us, so we can allocate a driver who is able to lift a wheelchair and who has space for one in the boot of their car.
The GP surgery and hospitals have wheelchairs at the entrance for use by patients if you don’t have your own or if a driver is unable to take yours.
Woodcote Volunteers have two wheelchairs that can be provided if you need one but don’t have your own, and are going somewhere other than a medical appointment.
Please let us know in advance if you have mobility difficulties and will need a wheelchair, whether your own or borrowed.
Please note that we are unable to assist users who are unable to lift themselves out of the wheelchair and into the car independently.
Help with the cost of transport to hospitals, clinics and GP’s
If you are finding it hard to pay driver expenses, there may be help available. The type of help depends on your circumstances – you may qualify for one or both the types of help shown below.
1. If you are going to hospital, the Patient Transport Service is a free service and might help get you there but the criteria for qualifying for it are strict. See No. 1 below.
2. If you do not qualify for the Patient Transport Service, see if you qualify for the nhs “Help with Health Costs” scheme. See No. 2 below.
1. SOUTH CENTRAL AMBULANCE SERVICE – NON-EMERGENCY PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICE (NEPTS)
The NEPTS service is free but is only available to eligible patients. You are considered eligible if:
- Your medical condition is such that you require the skills and support of NEPTS staff during or after your journey, and/or it would be detrimental to your condition or recovery to travel by other means. Or:
- Your medical condition affects your mobility to such an extent that you would be unable to access healthcare and/or it would be detrimental to your condition or recovery to travel by other means.
- You may also travel if you are the recognised parent or guardian of a child being transported by NEPTS.
You are not eligible if:
- You are attending a primary care service, such as a routine GP or health centre appointment
- You are not an NHS patient
- You require transport outside England, Scotland and Wales.
Our area comes under both Thames Valley Clinical Commissioning Groups in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire AND Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT).
Making a booking
Patients’ first NEPTS journey must be booked by a healthcare professional or by calling the Patient Eligibility Line. You can then use NEPTS Patient Zone (Patient Transport Service | South Central Ambulance Service (scas.nhs.uk) to book subsequent journeys, manage your bookings and check your journey status.
Our Thames Valley Contact Centres are available on the following numbers:
Patient Eligibility Line 0300 100 0015 available 07:00-19:00
Health care Professionals Line in Thames Valley 0300 123 3235 available 24/7 365 days a year
PTS Cancellation Line 0300 790 0143 available 24/7 365 days a year
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT) NEPTS
Transport for patients of OHFT will be booked by clinical staff – patients should talk to staff at their clinic or treatment centre
The Contact Centre number for healthcare professionals is 0300 123 325
2. THE NHS HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS SCHEME
If you’re referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist or another primary care health professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS). The NHS organisation handling your claim will normally base any refund on the basis of what would have been the cheapest suitable mode of transport for your circumstances. To find out more follow this link: