NHS Transport Bookings

Isles of Scilly NHS Transport Booking Service

We work closely with the NHS Transport Booking Service to make sure reaching your important medical appointment is as straightforward as possible.

To book your travel for an NHS appointment you will need to call Patient Transport Booking Service at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust on 01872 252211.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Who is eligible for Patient Transport?

The Patient Transport Service is funded by the NHS, to be eligible you must:

  1. Be a full-time permanent resident on the Isles of Scilly.
  2. Have a referral from a health care professional.
  3. Have an appointment on a separate visit to when the referral was made.
How to make a Patient Transport booking?

To book your travel you need to contact Patient Transport via the Booking Service at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust on 01872 252211.

The Booking Service is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm at weekends and Bank Holidays (with the exception of Christmas Day when the office is closed).

Medical warrants are normally only issued for you to sail on the Scillonian or on flights to Land’s End Airport.

Do I have to pay for medical travel?

A booking fee of £5 will be taken by Patient Transport when arranging your travel.

If flying to Land’s End Airport, the NHS will only fund your flights. If you require the airport transfer service to Penzance Railway Station, you’ll be asked to pay and book this at the time of your booking.

If you do not qualify for Patient Transport services you will be liable to pay for your own travel.

For more information regarding booking fees please call Patient services on 01872 252211 or visit NHS Kernow.

How do I book an airport transfer?

If you are flying to Land’s End Airport and require an airport transfer service to Penzance Railway Station, please let Patient Transport Services know at the time of booking. The cost of this service is £7 per person per journey.

How do I book travel to the mainland for urgent treatment?

If you require urgent medical treatment at an Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre on the mainland this must be requested by a health care professional through Patient Transport Services. Requests for travel for urgent treatment will not be accepted directly from the patient.

Will I be charged for amendments and cancellations?

If you need to make a change to your NHS booking you will need to contact Patient Transport on 01872 252211. They need to approve any changes to travel before you can alter your booking.

You will not be charged for an amendment or cancellation to your travel:

  • If the NHS make a cancellation or amendment to your medical appointment
  • If you’re unable to make your medical appointment due to your flight being delayed or cancelled.
  • Between a weather advisory being issued and the opening of check-in

If you choose to change your travel for any other reason, then an amendment or cancellation fee will apply to your booking and Patient Transport will ask you to meet this cost. The following charges will apply when:

  • Amendments are made more than 14 days ahead of your planned flight – up to 10% of the booking cost
  • Amendments are made between 14 days and 48 hours ahead of travel – up to 20% of the booking cost
  • Cancellations is made up to 48 hours ahead of travel – 20% of the booking cost
  • Amendments and Cancellations within 48 hours of travel – 100% of the booking cost

Please Note: A minimum amendment or cancellation fee of £5 is applicable and it does apply if you cancel a airport transfer service.

The amendment and cancellation fees guard us against the risk of a flight or sailing leaving with empty seats. The chances of us being able to resell a seat closer to the travel date is less likely.

We offer the NHS reduced fares, this means we are also unable to provide free amendments and cancellations. If we were to increase the fares to subsidise passengers making their own changes it would jeopardise the meaningful discount, we give to Patient Transport.

What happens if my flight or sailing is delayed or cancelled?

If your flight or sailing is cancelled or delayed, you will need to contact Patient Transport to rebook travel. Please remember to contact the relevant NHS department to rebook your medical appointment.

The NHS doesn’t provide funding for overnight stays relating to your Patient Transport booking. If you require help finding overnight accommodation unexpectedly, as a result of travel disruption please ask our staff at the check-in desk. Please make sure they are aware of any special requirements you may have.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

If one of the following applies you may be able to bring someone with you subject to a small booking fee:

  • You have a medical condition that requires constant supervision for safety. The person you bring must be able to meet your medical needs and it should be established whether a healthcare professional would not be the preferred option.
  • You have mental health problems that prevent you travelling alone.
  • You are younger than 16 years;
  • You have significant communication difficulties, including learning difficulties, impaired sight or are hard of hearing. The person you bring must be able to provide a positive benefit in ensuring you can understand anything being said to you; for example, through the use of sign language if you are hard of hearing.
  • You are attending a 20 week pregnancy scan (This cannot be deferred to another appointment and must only be used for the 20 week scan (as per the KCCG Policy)).
  • You are attending a two week wait appointment, where an initial diagnosis will be discussed.

If you would like to bring someone with you, please let Patient Transport Services know at the time of booking.

What kind of help can you give me if I am flying?

If you think you will need any help at the airport, please let Patient Transport know at the time you make your booking.

It is important that we know if you have any mobility issues which would make it difficult for you to get on or off our aircraft. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules mean you must be able to evacuate yourself from a normal passenger flight, in the unlikely event of an emergency.
We are able to provide charter stretcher flights if needed. Patient Transport will need to assess your mobility needs before a stretcher flight can be booked with them.

If you are able to board and exit the aircraft unaided but need some extra time to reach the plane, feel nervous about flying, have difficulty sitting comfortably or have any other concerns, please let Patient Transport know in advance and they can arrange for a member of our airport staff to meet you on arrival and give you any reassurance or support your need.

If you feel you more comfortable travelling with a companion, please refer to the question above – ‘Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?’.

Is my assistance or guide dog able to come?

We are happy to accept assistance dogs or guide dogs on our flights and sailings. They are able to travel free of charge, but we will need to be made aware in advance to make sure arrangements are in place to make your dog’s travel comfortably.

Please note: Assistance or guide dogs must meet the accredited membership criteria of a recognised body.

What happens if I require a wheelchair?

Wheelchairs are available at St Mary’s and Land’s End Airport in addition to Penzance Quay. Our staff can meet and provide you with wheelchair assistance on request, subject to relevant Health & Safety requirements. Please let Patient Transport know you need help at the time of booking.

Scillonian III’s gangway is not suitable for electric wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs are available for the duration of the voyage on request but please be aware that under certain tidal conditions it may not be possible to board the ship in a wheelchair due to the gradient of the gangway.

Please note: It is not possible to board a Skybus aircraft with a wheelchair.

Your own wheelchair or mobility scooters may be carried free of charge in the hold on the aircraft or Scillonian III under most circumstances, as long as we are informed ahead of travel.

What happens if I live on one of the off-island?

If you live on one of the off-islands and have a mainland outpatient appointment you can claim back the cost of the inter-island transfer from NHS Kernow CCG. You will need to request an authorisation code when booking your travel from Patient Transport. They will confirm whether you are able to use a scheduled or charter boat service.


Patient Transport terms are subject to change. Please call Patient Transport on 01872 252211 to check for any updates.

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