Going into Hospital
Planning your stay in hospital
Going into hospital, even for a short stay, can be worrying for you and those that depend on you.
There is help available for things you might be concerned about, such as transport, benefits and care for others or pets in your absence.
On this page:
- Getting to the Hospital
- Help Caring for Someone Whilst You Are Away
- Help Looking After Your Pets
- Your Benefits
Getting to the Hospital
If your GP hasn't already arranged for your transport to hospital, there are volunteer drivers who can help take you to hospital appointments. The West Berkshire Volunteer Car Scheme covers Newbury and Thatcham. The Volunteer Centre website also lists contact details of village schemes, including the Handybus service which runs beyond Newbury and Thatcham.
Get in touch with your nearest service to arrange for transport (you will need to book in advance).
Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service
The South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) operates the non-emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) in Berkshire.
This service is for people who are unable to use public or other transport due to their medical condition, and those who are:
- attending hospital outpatient clinics
- being admitted to or discharged from hospital wards
- needing life-saving treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, renal dialysis or DVT treatment
You can find contact information for this service on the SCAS website, here.
Help Caring for Someone Whilst You Are Away
If you are a carer for somebody and are concerned how they will cope whilst you are away, our support for carers webpage lists organisations that can help you make sure that those who depend on you are looked after in your absence.
Help Looking After Your Pets
You may have a pet that needs to be looked after while you're away. It can also take a little while to get back on your feet after a hospital stay, making it difficult to look after your pet yourself.
The West Berkshire Directory has a list of pet care organisations that can provide assistance whilst you are in hospital, or upon your return home.
Going into hospital may affect any benefits you currently receive.
Most benefits (such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (replacing Disability Living Allowance), Attendance Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Incapacity Benefit)) require that you get in touch with the agencies responsible, to tell them of this change in your circumstances.
A stay in hospital may also affect your Housing Benefit - please let our benefits team know.
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 NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
If someone receives Carer's Allowance because they are caring for you, this may also be affected if you go into hospital - you should advise them to report changes affecting Carer's Allowance online or by contacting the Carer's Allowance Unit.
Do you still need help? Get in touch with us and tell us what you're looking for.