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Extended travel cost scheme consultation

The Government has launched a consultation on extending the Hospital Travel Cost Scheme to cover referrals made by GPs and other practice staff for treatment in a primary care setting.

The travel scheme allows patients on a low income who do not need an ambulance but need to pay to travel to hospital to claim back their costs.

Under existing regulations, a patient referred by a consultant for treatment in primary care can claim travel costs, but a patient referred by a GP for treatment at the same clinic cannot.

Andy Burnham, health minister, said the planned change reflected the fact more services would be provided in primary care in future.

Referral for essential GP services or out-of-hours care will remain outwith the scheme.

The consultation closes on

13 April.

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