Travel and Overnight Stays
The Programme makes use of placements throughout South East London, Kent and East Sussex and is under an obligation to send trainees to all Trusts within this area. This is because all Trusts contribute to the funding of training through the local Strategic Health Authorities. As a result trainees are required to undertake significant journeys to some placements. Trainees are expected to make their own arrangements for all travel. This normally necessitates the use of a car. However, it should be noted that the mode of travel used will not influence placement allocation except in exceptional circumstances, e.g. where a trainee is unable to drive through disability. In addition to commuting to placement, many community services require significant travel on placement. This can be extremely difficult without at least regular access to a car. Rural public transport is unlikely to enable trainees to carry out their work in a timely manner, and taxi bills could run into several hundred pounds over the course of a placement in a rural area. Taxi costs are not usually considered as reimbursable travel expenses.
Where travel is particularly lengthy ( in excess of one and a half hours each way), it may be more convenient and less stressful for trainees to arrange to stay over in Bed and Breakfast accommodation for one or two nights a week on some placements. It is normally possible to claim reimbursement for these expenses, particularly if they are proportionate to the costs that would have been claimed for regular travel or not in excess of about £30.00 per night, by prior agreement with the trainee's manager.
Use of taxis is not encouraged or routinely supported. If particular circumstances suggest the need to use a taxi for any reason this needs to be discussed with the trainee's manager and agreed in advance. Similarly the recently introduced congestion charges payable in London are not normally reimbursed unless exceptional circumstances arise which make them unavoidable in order to complete placement work. Once again this should be anticipated and agreement reached with the trainee's manager before submitting a claim.