07 December 2014
NHS Highland Patient Transport Scheme

The Community Council has been sent a copy of the claim arrangements for patients that have to attend Raigmore Hospital as part of any health care requirements. This is known as the Highlands and Islands Patient Transport Scheme (HITS). We hope it will be useful to remind residents of the scheme.
1. Patients from the Highlands and Islands catchment area who have to travel more than 30 miles (or more than 5 miles by water) to hospital can claim repayment of travel expenses without test of means less the first £10.00 (for each appointment).
2. The catchment area is the former counties of Shetland, Orkney, Caithness, Sutherland, Ross & Cromarty, Inverness, Argyll, Arran, Bute, Cromdale or Nairn. 
3. Those who receive Income Support, Working Tax Credit (with Child Tax Credit or with a disability element), Job Seeker's Allowance (income based) or Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, or who are named on an HC2 (full help with health costs) or HC3 (partial help with health costs) certificate or who complete an HC5 form (claim form for reimbursement of travel to an NHS hospital for treatment) will not have to pay the first £10.00 of any expenses claimed as long as proof of entitlement can be given.
4. Where patients are on benefits and/or where patients must attend at least twice for serious illnesses such as renal and oncology treatments then the distance criterion does not apply.
5. The expenses of an escort may also be paid if medical staff consider that an escort is clinically necessary.
6. Expenses will be reimbursed for patients travelling:
a. By public transport
b. Their own car – paid at 18p per mile
c. Via a car scheme – the individual can claim back the full cost (minus the first £10 as noted above) with a receipt from a bone fide car scheme. If the patient takes the claim to the finance office on the day it will be paid there and then (assuming it is valid); if the claim is subsequently posted in to the finance office payment is typically within 2 weeks.

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