§ Vera Baird
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements exist for paying the travel costs of people from outside London who travel to London for specialist NHS treatment not available in their region. 
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 11 March 2002]: The Hospital Travel Costs Scheme which is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme exists to assist patients with the cost of travel to hospital for NHS treatment under the care of a consultant, irrespective of the distance to be travelled. The scheme is intended to assist patients on low incomes to receive full or partial reimbursement of reasonable expenses for travel to hospital by the cheapest means of travel available to the patient.