Help with travel and parking costs

Hospital car park with cars parked

Find out about how you can get help with travel and parking costs if your baby was born premature or sick.

Are you worried about finances? Try our new Finance Hub to find specific information and practical help.

Help with travel costs to hospital

Some patients and parents of child patients attending hospital for NHS treatment may qualify for help with travel costs to and from hospital. Check with the hospital before travelling to see whether you are eligible.

Who can claim

You may be eligible if you (or your partner) get Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit. You may also qualify if you have an NHS Tax Credit exemption certificate or if you are on a low income.

Dependent children whose parents or guardians fall into one of the categories above can usually get help with travel costs too if they need to go to hospital.

If your doctor says that you need someone to travel with you, the accompanying person’s travel costs can be included for help.

Please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your hospital for further information.

Free or reduced hospital parking

Hospital parking can be expensive. Some hospitals will let you park free of charge if you are visiting your child, or they may offer a lower rate for parking.

Ask the staff on the unit about the hospital policy and where to get a special permit, or you could ask the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your hospital. The Blue Badge Scheme can enable you to park in a restricted area.

In Scotland and Wales, nearly all hospital parking is free. Parents in Scotland will be able to claim any parking costs incurred at hospital through the Neonatal Expenses Fund.

Bliss campaigns to ensure parents of premature and sick babies get help with the financial costs associated with their long hospital stay. Find out more on our campaigns pages.

The Blue Badge Scheme

If you are a parent of a child who is less than 3 years old, you can apply for a Blue Badge for your child if they have a specific medical condition, which means they either:

  • must always have bulky medical equipment (for example, oxygen) with them
  • need to be near a vehicle at all times, so that they can, if necessary, be treated in the vehicle or quickly driven to a place where they can be treated, such as a hospital.

Your local council will decide if your child is eligible for a Blue Badge based on the evidence you submit.

Visit the government website to apply for a Blue Badge.

Where you can find out more