Hardship fund and travel costs

DSC_5735If your baby or babies are being cared for in the Neonatal Unit, we know that there’s likely many different things on your mind right now, and we don’t think that travel costs should be an extra worry… and they definitely should not get in the way of you being able to visit your baby.

Please see below for advice on how to access the NHS support you’re entitled to and the support which Tiny Lives is able to offer.

We know that some parents might be reluctant to accept support as you might worry the money might be needed elsewhere. Please be assured that there are separate funding arrangements for the Social Fund, you can always organise some fundraising for future families if you wish to.

Travel Expenses Information for Parents on Ward 35

Click on the links below to go to information on:

NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme

If you are the Mother of a child on Ward 35 you are entitled to help with the cost of public travel expenses if you:

  • Claim Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Have a valid NHS Tax Credit exemption certificate (not including a Maternity exemption certificate)
  • Are named on a valid HC2 Certificate
  • Are aged under 16 years
  • Earn £15,276 or less and receive Child Tax Credit (with or without Working Tax Credit) or Working Tax Credit with the disability element or severe disability element.

In order to claim travel cost you must take three things to the cashier’s office at the RVI.

  • Proof of benefit / how you fit the above criteria (see above)
  • Proof of travel costs AND
  • An authorised travel expenses claim form completed by nursing staff on the unit (ask the nurse looking after your baby; they will complete this for you).

You must have all three documents otherwise cashiers will not be able to pay you.  The Cashiers is located on Level 1 near out-patients at the New Victoria Wing entrance and is open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday only. Petrol costs are refundable at 10 pence per mile. Bus/Metro travel is reimbursed in full.

Please note – only mother’s fitting the above criteria can qualify for travel expenses.   In any situation taxi costs and parking costs are not refundable.

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Parking Permits

Parking LogoThere is one parking permit available, free of charge, for each family with a child/ren currently on Ward 35 of the RVI Newcastle, regardless of your financial circumstances.

Parking permits may be issued to parents or a ‘nominated driver’, e.g. a grandparent who will be providing regular transport.

Talk to the nurse caring for your baby for more information or download the full information leaflet below:

Tiny Lives Parking Permit Information

We can provide a car parking pass to each family or costs of public travel but are not able to provide both.

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Tiny Lives Transport Scheme


If you are not eligible for support from the NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (e.g. if you are a mother who is not in receipt of benefits or if you are the father of a child/ren on Ward 35) and will not be using a Parking Permit, it may be possible for Tiny Lives to assist you with travel costs, such as reimbursing costs or providing you with a bus and / or metro pass. Please note that taxi costs can not be refunded.

If you would like to discuss this please ask a member of the nursing team to contact Fiona, the unit Social Worker, who will then meet with you privately.
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Help For Families Transferred Out of the RVI

Tiny Lives Parents Travel Fund has been set up to assist Newcastle booked parents with travel costs between their home and hospital(s) within the North East. The fund supports parents:

  • Who were booked at the RVI and whose baby was transferred out at birth to another hospital
  • Who were booked at the RVI and were transferred to another hospital for on-going care or specialist care not able to be delivered at the RVI.

You can download a form below:

Travel Form for Parents Transferred Out of the RVI

If you would like a hard copy of the form posted to you, please either email us on info@tinylives.org.uk or call us on 0191 230 2112, or ask the transport team if they’re able to give you a hard copy.

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Blue Badge Parking Scheme

Blue badgeIn certain circumstances a parent of a child who is under 3 years old may apply for a blue badge:

“A parent of a child who is less than three years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition which means that they:

a. must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty; and/or

b. need to be kept 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.”

This may be helpful for you, and you can see below for further guidance:

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Last updated: 31 October 2017


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