Help Getting To Your Appointment

Help Getting To Your Appointment

Most people make their own arrangements for getting to their appointments at Vine Medical Group. Not everyone has a car, or can walk long distances, and so many people ask a relative or friend for a lift, use public transport or taxis, or use other options such as Community Transport or voluntary groups.

What if I can’t afford to get to my appointment?
The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme can help those on low incomes. The scheme covers travel costs if you or your partner receives income-related benefits such as:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or you are awarded Universal Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • You are named in, or entitled to (use your award as evidence), a NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • You have low income and are named on certificate, you should complete form HC1 available from your local hospital or Jobcentre Plus offices.

Can I have NHS patient transport?
There are national rules governing who can receive NHS (non-emergency) patient transport to get to or from appointments. The patient transport service is for patients with a health condition that stops them travelling to or from a medical appointment by any other means, e.g. stretcher-bound or vulnerable because of specific intense medical treatment. PTS is a vital resource for those that need it and cannot be operated as an alternative to avoid inconvenience or the cost of parking.
Note: NHS staff must regularly review access to patient transport. If you have had transport in the past, this does not always mean you will always receive it – you may have been given transport in error, or your health needs may have changed over time.

Can I appeal against a ‘not eligible’ decision?
The eligibility criteria applied is quite clear, but if you feel you have special or exceptional circumstances that are not covered in the eligibility process you may make an appeal via email SOUTHCSU.PTS@nhs.net or by phone 023 8062 7615.

Useful sources of support:


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Consider the range of services available to you and use the NHS responsibly.

Be prepared to care for yourself with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.

  • cough or cold
  • upset stomach
  • pain or headache
  • cuts and grazes
  • sore throat (but if for two weeks or more contact your GP)

For health advice, visit nhs.uk.

Your local Pharmacist is a trained medicine expert who can dispense and advise you on the safe use of prescription, repeat prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Most pharmacies are open until late and at weekends, and they all have a private area where you can talk to a Pharmacist in confidence. You don’t need to book an appointment to see a Pharmacist.

  • Ask for advice on ailments, medicines and healthier living
  • Queries about medication, dosage, type or suitability plus urgent requests or if related to hospital discharge
  • repeat prescription
  • sore eyes (but if persists go to optician)
  • runny nose
  • diarrhoea
  • bite or sting

GPs deal with a whole range of health problems including:

  • Conditions that can't be treated with over the counter medication or advice from a Pharmacist
  • Coughs lasting more than three weeks
  • New moles appearing or existing moles changing shape, size or colour

They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical operations. A range of health care professionals work at GP practices, including GPs, nurses, healthcare assistants, practice managers, receptionists and other staff. Practices also work closely with health visitors, midwives, mental health services and social care services. If the health professional you see cannot deal with a problem, then you’ll usually be referred to a hospital for tests, treatment, or to see a consultant with specialist knowledge.

NHS 111 is there for you when you have a healthcare need that is not life threatening. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

  • If you think you need to go to hospital
  • If you don’t know the most suitable place to go or call
  • If you don’t have a GP to call or if your GP practice is closed
  • If you need advice or reassurance about what to do

Available 24 hours a day, every day. Click here for NHS 111 online.

If you have a non-life-threatening illness or injury, there are lots of ways you can access advice and care without going to an Emergency Department. This allows emergency staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait. Visit for same day, urgent, minor injuries or illness when your GP practice is unavailable, such as such as sprains and suspected broken bones

  • fractures and lacerations
  • insect and animal bites
  • stitches (sutures)
  • dressing care
  • minor cuts and bruises
  • minor burns and strains

Emergency department or call 999. Only for very serious or life-threatening situations. If you are unsure, call NHS 111.

Click here to find out when to call 999.