Disability Advice & Information in Peterborough


 Health Services

Within this section are outlined the services offered by the NHS which are particularly relevant to people with disabilities. Under the governments choice agenda you can now choose which hospital you would like to be treated in. This needs to be discussed with you doctor.

The main NHS hospital in Peterborough is:

Peterborough City Hospital, Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Peterborough PE3 9GZ  Tel 01733 678000

Visiting information

2:00pm to 4:00pm and 6:00pm to 8:00pm on most wards except:

The Maternity Unit 8am – 8pm for partners and 2pm – 4pm or 6pm – 8pm for other visitors (plus siblings). Children, other than siblings, under the age of 14 are not permitted onto the ward. Please note that these times apply to ward areas only. On delivery unit and the midwife-led unit, only birth partners are allowed, and we welcome them at any time.

The Coronary Care Unit (CCU) times are 3pm to 8pm only.

Amazon Ward operates an open visiting policy with no time restrictions.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) operates open visiting but recommends not visiting before 11am.


The hospital operates a pay and display system. There are several car parks and some departments including women and children; the breast unit; haemodialysis and oncology all have their own car parks adjacent to their entrances.There are spaces for disabled drivers.

If you are unable to secure a disabled parking space, take your blue badge with you into the hospital and when you leave show your badge to the receptionist who will then validate your parking ticket. Unfortunately you still have to go to the payment machines to insert your ticket, however no payment will be required.


Community nursing services comprising of Health Visitors and District Nurses, is there to provide help and support in your own home. Health Visitors can offer advice and counselling to you and your carer. They can be contacted 9am-5pm weekdays. Their role is to find out any problems and then to call in other services as appropriate. District Nurses provide practical help, working alongside your GP, offering skilled nursing care and advice in your own home. Normally you will be referred to a Health Visitor or District Nurse through your GP.

Each school has a named school nurse who can be contacted through the Head-teacher. The Health Visitor is responsible for a child before s/he goes to school, then s/he becomes the responsibility of the school nurse.


 The Continence Adviser has information leaflets and also samples of products which may help you. Arrangements can be made to see you at home if necessary.  Continence Clinics are held at Peterborough City Hospital , they offer advice and support to professionals and the general public. Incontinence aids cannot be prescribed by your GP or dispensed by a pharmacist under the NHS. They can be provided free of charge by the continence team but usually only after a three month assessment and treatment plan.If you wish to discuss bladder or bowel problems you can contact the team direct on Tel: 01733 466664.Telephone advice is available 9:00am to 10:00am weekdays, at other times there is an answer phone.

Incontinence aids for children Where appropriate following an assessment they will be provided for children from the age of 4 years. The Peterborough Health Authority does not supply incontinence aids for children with uncomplicated night time bed wetting.

The Bladder and Bowel Foundation, operates a confidential national helpline          Tel: 0845 3450165 Monday-Friday office hours, answerphone at other times

Dentists, not all dentists provide treatment under the NHS. For an up to date list of those dentists that may be prepared to accept you for NHS treatment call NHS Direct for details. tel: NHS 111

NHS dental treatment is free for children and if you are Income Support/Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit. For details see Leaflet D11 ‘NHS dental treatment’. You may be able to obtain partial remission of charges on grounds of income by completing form HC1 available from the Benefits agency or your dentist, or by Telephone 0845 6101112.

General Practitioner (GP) Your GP should have a Patient Information Leaflet which will tell you everything about the practice including surgery hours, emergency procedures, appointments, home visits, getting prescriptions, their team and the range of clinics and services they offer. If you have problems registering with a doctor             phone  PALS  tel: 01733 758584

Health costs, a leaflet detailing help available with health costs, HC11, is available through hospitals, post offices, on line and from the Benefits Agency.

Hearing Impairment If you have problems with your hearing you should firstly visit your GP who might then refer you to the Audiology Clinic at City Care Centre and Stamford Hospital.Children with hearing problems will be seen at Peterborough City Hospital, which is by appointment only. You can approach Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care direct where they can refer you through the medical system for a hearing test and audiogram. Hearing aids are supplied, maintained and replaced free by the NHS. New batteries for hearing aids are obtained from Audiology department. You can get a booklet HA1 ‘How to use your hearing aid’ through the NHS hearing aid service.Tel 01733 673991

Private hearing aids are commercially available. It is advisable to check that they are registered with the Hearing Aid Council.

Hospital at Home is a service offering hospital level care in your own home, to save you either having to be admitted to hospital or allowing you to be discharged early. It is funded by the NHS and voluntary contributions. The admission criterion is that ‘without hospital at home the patient would be in hospital’. Referral to the scheme is at the discretion of your GP, District Nurse, Hospital Consultant and Liaison Sister. As it is primarily an acute service, if you require long term care you cannot be admitted into the scheme, but could be accepted for an acute illness such as a severe chest infection.Tel 01733 776212

Macmillan Day Centre The Robert Horrell Macmillan Day Care Centre, based at PCH, provides activities, stimulation and support for individuals, their family and friends who are coping with the physical, social and lifestyle effects of long-term, chronic or terminal illness. There are also Macmillan nurses to support you in your own home. For more details Tel: 0333 258 4378

NHS Direct is a 24-hour health care provider, delivering telephone and e-health information to the public. Their aim is to provide information and advice about health, illness and health services, to enable patients to make decisions about their healthcare and that of their families. If you are feeling unwell you can call NHS Direct on     Tel: NHS 111 for nurse advice and health information.

Podiatry (foot health) The Podiatry Service can offer a wide range of treatments to improve mobility and foot health. Treatment is available within certain GP practices and health centres within Peterborough. Initially contact your GP or health care professional for advice or referral the Podiatry service. This is a service for people with foot problems, and not a simple nail cutting service.

Occupational Therapy (OT) If you are a patient in hospital OT services work together with you to help you adjust to everyday living when you return home. They can teach you ways of building up physical strength and give guidance on how to cope with temporary or permanent disability to help improve your quality of life. There are OT departments at Peterborough City Hospital. For information about all hospital based OT services          Tel: 01733 678000

Peterborough Adult Social Care also have Occupational Therapists to assess your needs in your own home.Tel 01733 747474   (See Independent Living section)

Othotics These include corsets, splints, collars, specialist footwear, wigs and support hosiery. You will need a referral from you GP or consultant before going to the clinic. Some items are available on free permanent loan, prescription charges are made for others. For further information see Leaflets WF11 ‘NHS wigs and fabric supports’ and HAS 50403 or contact the Othotics Manager.  Pain relief Peterborough City Hospital runs a Pain Relief Service for patients with chronic pain conditions who are referred by their GP or Consultant. The service, by using a variety of therapies, aims to relieve and reduce pain where possible, to enable you to be able to live your life as fully as possible.

There is a ‘Pain Management’ course for 10 weeks, held at PCH Therapy Services, for those suffering from intractable pain. Referral is by your GP or consultant.

PALS (Patient advice and liaison service)

You can talk to PALS who provide confidential advice and support to patients, families and their carers, and can provide information on the NHS and health related matters.

The PALS team are there to:- help and support patients and their relatives or carers
– help to explain the formal complaint procedure
– use collective experience of patients concern and feedback to help influence change PALS provide a service for patients, carers, relatives and friends, and can be contacted in the following ways:PALS helpline on 01733 673405. 9:30am – 4:30pm Monday – Friday. (Messages can be left out of hours) In person, the PALS team are happy to arrange an appointment.In writing to the following address:                                                                       PALS
Peterborough City Hospital
Edith Cavell Campus
Bretton Gate
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service for Peterborough is available to help you with any difficulties you may experience with local health and social care services. These services include:-
  • Peterborough  community services (e.g. local clinics, health visitors, district nurses, adult social care)
  • Peterborough  practitioners (NHS care provided by GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists.

They provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care provision, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS.

  • Advise and support patients, service users their families and carers
  • Provide information on NHS services
  • Listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries and feed them back to our organisation to help improve our services
  • Liaise with staff on your behalf to resolve issues
  • Help to resolve problems and concerns quickly
  • Help to explain the formal NHS Complaints Procedure                                              Tel 01223 725588

Physiotherapy services are available at Peterborough City Hospital and within the community. You need to be referred by your GP or consultant.The Physiotherapy department can also advise on moving and handling clients. There is an information pamphlet detailing all the services.


Who is entitled to get free prescriptions?

  • If you are under 16 (under 25 in Wales).
  • If you are under 19 and in full-time education.
  • If you are aged 60 or over.
  • If you (or your partner) gets one of the following:
    • Income Support or Employment Support Allowance.
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
    • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
    • Universal Credit
  • If you have an NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
  • Some war pensioners – if treatment is connected with the pensionable disability.
  • If you have a prescription exemption certificate (see below).
  • People on a low income who have a certificate HC2 (see below).

If you are entitled to free prescriptions, complete the declaration on the back of the prescription and sign it. You may be asked for proof that you are exempt.

People who have certain medical conditions

Although there are many conditions requiring regular medication, only the following qualify for an exemption certificate:

  • A permanent fistula requiring dressing.
  • Forms of hypoadrenalism such as Addison’s Disease.
  • Diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism.
  • Diabetes mellitus except where treatment is by diet alone.
  • Hypoparathyroidism.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Myxoedema (underactive thyroid) or other conditions where supplemental thyroid hormone is necessary.
  • Epilepsy requiring regular anti-epilepsy medication.
  • If, because of a permanent disability, you cannot leave your home without help.

If you have one of these conditions, get form FP92A from your doctor’s surgery and fill it in.
How can regular prescription charges be reduced? If you do not qualify for exemption you may be able to reduce the cost of your prescriptions by buying a Prescription Prepayment Certificate from the Prescription Pricing Authority. This certificate will cover the cost of all your prescriptions during a particular period.

People who have to pay for more than 3 prescription items in 3 months, or 14 items in 12 months, could save money by buying a Prescription Prepayment Certificate:

  • by completing form FP95 which you can get from pharmacies and doctors surgeries; OR
  • online at http://www.ppa.org.uk/ or
  • by telephone – 0845 850 0030 – have ready a credit or debit card.

How can people on a low income apply for help? Some people on a low income may qualify for help with health costs such as prescription charges. Your entitlement to help is based on your circumstances such as your level of income, savings, etc. Use form HC1

‘Claim for help with health costs’. See below on how to get this form. You have to fill in the form giving various details of your circumstances. If your application is successful, you will receive either certificate HC2 or HC3.

  • Certificate HC2 means that you will not need to pay the following health costs: prescription charges; NHS dental charges; eye tests, glasses and contact lenses; travel to hospital for NHS treatment; wigs and fabric supports.
  • Certificate HC3 provides partial help with some of these health costs.

Certificates are usually valid for six months. If your circumstances remain unchanged after six months then, if necessary, you should make a new claim before the current certificate expires.

How can I get the claim forms?

To get the forms HC1 mentioned above: phone 0845 6101112 and ask for a form to be sent to you.

Generic Medicine If you have to pay for your prescriptions, you might also find that some medicines are cheaper if you buy them over the counter. It is also worth checking with your local pharmacy to see if they do a home delivery service.

Transport to Hospital. If you (or a member of your family) are attending hospital for an appointment, you may be able to reclaim the cost of your transport to and from the hospital.

You can claim if you are any of the following;

  • War Pensioner, and your treatment is for your pensionable disability attending a Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic which is over 15 miles (24km) from home
  • you, your partner or dependent children are receiving:
  • Income Support or Employment Support Allowance
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit and named on a Tax Credit NHS Exemption
  • Certificate Working Tax Credit and named on a Tax Credit NHS Exemption Certificate
  • a named person on an HC2 certificate, and possibly if you are on an H3 certificate.

You can claim using Department of Social Security form HC5, which is available from tel: 0845 6101112

More information on eligibility is available in Leaflet H11, “Are you entitled to help with health costs?” which you can get from hospitals, post offices and pharmacies.

If your GP makes an appointment for you at the hospital he will decide on medical need whether you need transport, and will make the necessary arrangements. Some GPs also have their own car service. For subsequent appointments the hospital will book the transport but after three months they need to go back to your GP so that he can reconfirm that you still need hospital transport.

An ambulance will be provided if it is considered the safest and most comfortable way of transporting you. The ambulance is normally provided by the NHS. A hospital car will be provided if you are able to travel that way but do not have your own transport. Cars are driven by volunteer drivers but booked in the same way as ambulances. All hospital transport is free.

You’re automatically entitled to claim Hospital Travel Costs Scheme if you (or those you depend on) get at least one of the following:

  • Income Support or Employment Support Allowance.
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Guarantee Pension Credit
  • Universal credit
  • Child Tax Credit (with or without Working Tax Credit)
  • Working Tax Credit with the disability element or severe disability element

If an adult or your dependent child has to travel to your treatment with you for medical reasons, you can claim their travel costs too. If you’re on a low income but don’t get any of these benefits or allowances, you may still claim travel costs through the NHS low income support scheme (go to section ‘NHS low income support scheme’).

If you’re on entitled / means tested benefits or allowances you may get back the full travel costs by using the cheapest form of public transport available, including any concessions or promotions.This applies to however you travel. If for example, you use a private car you can claim for petrol instead (and car parking charges where unavoidable) up to the cost of the same journey by public transport.

The hospital should tell you the mileage rate for petrol costs for private transport. If public transport is unavailable or impractical (perhaps you can’t get to your appointment on time or your mobility is restricted), you’ll need to contact the hospital well before your appointment. They will need to check your new travel arrangements are allowed.

If you’re on the NHS low income scheme you may get back all or some of your travel costs depending on which certificate you’ve been given.

You can claim at the NHS hospital or clinic at the time of your appointment. You’ll be paid back immediately in cash, when you show any of the following:

  • proof of a qualifying benefit (like an award notice)
  • a tax credit exemption certificate (you’ll get this automatically if you qualify)
  • a certificate showing you qualify for the NHS low income support scheme

Tuberculosis (TB) Advice The TB liaison nurse at PCH can be contacted

Tel: 01733 678000

Visual Impairment If you think your sight is failing you should visit your GP who will give you a medical recommendation which you can take to any optician but check that they provide service under the NHS. There is a charge for an eye-test although there are exceptions. See Leaflet G11 ‘NHS sight tests and vouchers for glasses’.

You are entitled to a free NHS sight test if you are:

  • under 16 years of age, or 16, 17, or 18 years of age and in full time education,
  • 60 years of age, or over,
  • registered as blind, or partially sighted,
  • diagnosed with diabetes, or glaucoma,
  • 40 years of age, or over, and have a first degree relative, such as father, mothers, sister, or brother, with glaucoma, or you have been advised by an opthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma, or you are receiving certain benefits, or credits.

You may also be entitled to a free sight test if you are prescribed certain complex lenses, such as certain types of bifocal, or powerful lenses. Check with your optometrist for more information about this.

If you are eligible for help with NHS costs under the NHS Low Income Scheme, you can claim some or all of the cost of sight tests, glasses and/or contact lenses for you, your partner and your children (HC1).

You are already entitled to full help with health costs if you or your partner are receiving Income Support, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit or if you are named on a Tax Credit NHS Exemption Certificate.

Once you have a prescription for glasses you can go to any optician to have your glasses made. If you GP decides that you need to be seen by a Consultant Ophthalmic surgeon he will refer you. The Consultant may suggest that you should be registered as blind or partially sighted. He will complete form BD8, which is sent to Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care to advise them of your needs

At the same time you may be referred to the Low Vision Aids Clinic also at PDH. You can ask to be referred to this clinic, for example, if your optician is no longer able to help you, but you would have to go back to your Ophthalmic Consultant for a referral. At the Low Vision Aids Clinic a wide variety of specialist glasses and magnifiers can be supplied free of charge. Advise on lighting and position can be given.

You can get more information about your eye condition, general health and well-being from the Eye Health Unit at RNIB Health Services Tel: 0207 388 1266.


Vaccine Damage

If you’re severely disabled as a result of a vaccination against certain diseases, you may be able to get a Vaccine Damage Payment, a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000. If you’re claiming on behalf of a child, you must wait until they’re at least two years old before claiming. You can contact the Vaccine Damage Payments Unit Tel: 01772 899 944

Lines are open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9.00 am to 4.30 pm on Friday.


Wheelchair Service | Peterborough Information Network

Referral is through your GP or Occupational Therapist.

For both manual and electric wheelchairs and their maintenance.

If you have a permanent disability which means you can’t walk, we will assess your posture and mobility and provide you with a wheelchair if you are eligible for one.

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Wheelchair … – AJM Healthcare

AJM Healthcare is the appointed NHS Wheelchair Service Provider for residents currently registered with a GP in the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough .