7. What Expenses Can Be Claimed
Claimants are expected to use the most cost effective, reasonable means of transport.
Contributions towards the cost of fuel will be reimbursed at the prevailing mileage rate* per mile for up to one return car journey per day for each claimant, when they are travelling to the hospital separately on the same day and any accompanying sibling(s) up to the age of 18. If all travel together, only one return journey should be claimed.
Public transport costs should be reimbursed in full for up to one return journey per day for each claimant on production of receipts. Standard class travel can be reclaimed upon production of receipts**.
*The rate of reimbursement is based on the HMRC Fuel Advisory Rate. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advisory-fuel-rates. The reimbursement rate for each financial year will be determined by the advisory fuel rate from 1 March each year for the year ahead. The rates can go down as well as up.
** Due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus, eligible claimants who do not own a car can now use taxis to visit their baby, child or young person even if public transport is available for areas within redistricted levels 2-4. Claimants should speak to the ward where their baby, child or young person is being treated to find out about how to get approval for a taxi journey in their local area. If your taxi journey is approved, you can claim back for one return journey a day, per claimant. You'll need to provide receipts when you claim.
Car parking costs can be reclaimed in full on the submission of receipts.
In some NHS Boards a permit may be obtained to provide exemption from parking costs. Staff can advise whether a permit is available or whether claimants should claim for a refund.
7.3 Taxi Fares
Travel by taxi should be seen as last resort and reimbursement will only be considered in certain circumstances, e.g. no public transport availability or subject to a visitor's medical condition. Taxi travel must be approved by clinical staff prior to journey. Where approved, taxi travel will be reimbursed in full on the submission of receipts for one return journeys per day.
Air travel should only be considered where it is cheaper than other forms of transport or where other forms of transport are not reasonable (e.g. island to mainland travel). Flights must be approved by NHS Board prior to travel.
7.5 Meals and Subsistence
Claims for meals may be made by one of the following means:
- A flat rate contribution of £8.50 per per eligible visitor per day for food and non-alcoholic beverages will be issued. This may be purchased outside of hospital grounds.
- Meals may be directly provided free of charge for eligible visitors by the hospital (e.g. staff canteen or patient meals) up to a maximum of three meals per day.
Further detail of provision within your hospital will be provided locally. No receipts are required for the purposes of being reimbursed meal costs. Eligible visitors are not permitted to claim for the cost of food if the hospital provides meals free of charge.
NHS boards should have accommodation available to claimants if required and this should be accessed in the first instance. In the exceptional circumstance where hospital accommodation is not available, a contribution to reasonable overnight accommodation costs will be reimbursed. This should be booked, where possible, in advance by the Local Health Board. Reasonable is defined as the most cost effective accommodation available.