Health Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS)

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The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) provides support for people on lower incomes. The scheme is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme which also covers other expenses such as prescriptions and glasses.

This page explains a little more about the scheme, including who is eligible and how people can claim.

Who can get help with travel costs?

You must meet the three conditions below to be eligible for support: 

  1. At the time of your appointment, you or your partner must receive one of the below benefits or allowances (or meet the eligibility criteria for the NHS Low Income Scheme):
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC) with Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • WTC with a disability element or a severe disability element
  • CTC but you're not eligible for WTC
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • you receive Universal Credit and meet the criteria
  • You can also claim for help with travel costs if:
  • You’re named on, or entitled to, an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, you qualify if you get child tax credits, working tax credits with a disability element and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less.
  • You have a low income and are named on certificate HC2 (Full Help) or HC3 (Limited Help).
  1. You must have a referral form from a doctor or another health professional to a specialist or a hospital for further treatment or tests.
  1. Whatever the location of your appointment, it will also need to be on a separate visit to when your referral was made. This applies whether it’s a different location or the same place where you received your referral.

Children and Other Dependants

You can claim travel costs for your children if you’re eligible for any of the benefits descried under condition 1 above and your child has been referred to treatment as outlined in condition 2 and condition 3 above. If your child is aged 16 or over, they may make their own claim under the low-income scheme.

Carers and Escorts

You can claim travel costs for an escort if your health professional says it’s medically necessary for someone to travel with you. You will need to meet the conditions above, but your escort does not have to meet them.

How do I claim a refund?

To claim your travel costs, take your travel receipts, appointment letter or card, plus proof that you’re receiving one of the qualifying benefits to a nominated cashiers office. Nominated cashiers' offices are in the hospital or clinic that treated you. They'll assess your claim and make the payment directly to you. If you're not sure, ask reception or the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) at the place you have your appointment.

Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust Cashier Office 

Mid Essex Hospital – The cashier office is located within the main atrium next to the hospital’s main reception desk. It is open from Monday – Friday (8:30am – 18:00pm).

Basildon & Thurrock Hospital – Located at the main reception, opposite the main reception desk and next to security. It is open Monday – Friday (09:00am – 16:30pm).

Southend Hospital – It’s located at the general office in the previous main entrance. The Office is manned Monday – Friday (09:00am – 16:30pm).

Postal Claims

HC5(T) Refund claim forms need to be sent to NHS Business Services Authority, Bridge House, 152 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6SN. Forms can be accessed by using the following link:

More information

You can find more information about making a the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme on the NHS website.

Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21

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Southend CCG publisheds an annual report that demonstrates the performance of the CCG over the last twelve months. It sets out our achievements and where the CCG has seen improvements in the health services provided.

The latest CCG annual report has now been published and can be downloaded below:

Southend CCG Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21

Engagement Report

Although an outline of public involvement is not mandatory for this years’ annual report, it was important to inform our residents and stakeholders of how we have continued to engage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full engagement report can be downloaded below:

 NHS Mid and South Essex CCGs Engagement Report

Annual Quality Report

The purpose of this Annual Quality Report is to provide a retrospective overview on Quality. In doing so the report will seek to highlight the innovative approaches that the CCG has adopted in response to the management of COVID-19, whilst continuing to influence the provision of safer; clinically effective healthcare locally

Annual Quality Report 2020-21

Audit Letter

The below audit report summarises the findings of the audit into the CCG.

Southend CCG Auditors Annual Report 2020-21

My Health Matters

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Right now, looking after ourselves is more important than ever.

‘My Health Matters’ is a new campaign that aims to bring together tools, tips and resources that can help people across mid and south Essex to take care of themselves and support their health and wellbeing.

Everyone’s health is unique to them, as are the things that will help improve their wellbeing. There is no right or wrong way, it is simply about finding what is best for you to help you take control of your health.

We hope to use real-life examples of people in local communities across mid and south Essex taking control of their health and wellbeing in different ways.

We’re interested in ways people are connecting with their local areas, or certain tools or resources they are utilising to support their wellbeing. By doing this, we hope to inspire and empower many others to do the same.

Get involved and tell us how you are staying healthy by using #MyHealthMattersMSE on social.

You can visit the campaign website here for more information about My Health Matters and how to get involved.

The ‘My Health Matters’ digital booklet provides an overview of national and local tools and resources available to support people to live well. It can easily be downloaded and stored on computers and smartphones for quick access or alternatively printed if that’s preferred.

The guide provides information and ideas about what’s available to help people to look after themselves and those they care for.
This includes:
• Making the most out of digital apps and tools to easily access trusted information and advice from home
• Keeping active for better health – with information on local and national resources that can help you to stay physically fit
• Looking after your mental health – utilising local and national services such as talking therapies
• Support in the local community – including treating minor health conditions and practical and emotional support from specialist professionals such as social prescribers
• Local offers across mid and south Essex to help keep people well.

Please note, the booklet is not intended to be exhaustive, and if you think we may have missed information that may be useful, please get in touch at:

We hope to provide more information about local resources and assets through local people stories. To find out more about this, please take a look at our ‘local people stories’ and ‘getting involved’ sections here.

If you need an alternative version of this leaflet (e.g. a translated or large print version), please email:

Click here to download My Health Matters guide. 






Zero tolerance statement

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NHS Southend CCG is committed to ensuring the patient voice is heard and able to contribute to the development and delivery of high quality health services for all our residents.

There are a number of ways in which the public can share their views and information on how you can get involved can be found on the following link : 

We welcome challenge and feedback from patients in order to improve what we do, and seek to respond to their questions promptly and politely. We are very grateful to the huge numbers of patients who work with us in a constructive and mutually respectful way.

In line with NHS policy, the CCG has a zero tolerance approach to aggression, abuse, violence, vexatious or anti-social behaviour towards our staff. Staff managing direct relationships with the public (face-to-face, through emails, letters or telephone calls), are offered training and support to handle aggression, abuse, violence or anti-social behaviour from patients, their relatives or members of the public.

The definition of ‘vexatious’ behaviour is to harass, distress, annoy, tease, cause trouble, agitate, disturb or pursue issues excessively.

NHS Southend CCG is committed to:
Ownership and responsibility of staff safety
Introducing preventative measures to minimise risks to staff
Ensuring relevant staff are appropriately trained
Promoting and maintaining public awareness of our Zero Tolerance approach

Our policy for handling enquiries from members of the public considered to be unreasonably persistent, vexatious, aggressive, abusive or anti-social can be found here.

Sharing Information for Covid-19 Vaccination of Health & Care Staff

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Part of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic is recording the details of who has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and when. Normally, vaccinations are undertaken in GP settings. However, with Covid-19, this will be undertaken in a variety of care settings and for the majority of health and care staff will be managed by “lead providers” on behalf of local health and care organisations. It remains the choice of the individual whether to have the vaccine, but we need to be able to share staff details with the lead providers to ensure all staff are given the chance to receive their vaccination as part of the early cohort and we must record the details of the vaccination and share that to your GP, so your health records are kept up to date.

Under GDPR, the lawful basis for processing this data is found at Articles:

6(1)(c) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject,

6(1)(e) Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller,


9(2)(h) Processing is necessary for the purposes of the provision of health or social care or treatment.
In addition, with the Coivd-19 vaccination, we have an obligation to let your employer know that you have been vaccinated to support their obligation to safety in the workplace. The lawful basis for this processing is found at Articles:

6(1)(c) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject,

6(1)(e) Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller,


9(2)(b) processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment

9(2)(i) processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against serious cross-border threats to health

Across the East of England a variety of lead providers and existing local/national systems for booking/recording and sharing of the necessary information will be used to enable the ability to rapidly roll-out this vaccination programme to staff.