Isle of Wight could become first to lose ‘free at point of delivery NHS’, says Critchley

Chair of Island Labour says if the cuts go ahead, then essentially Islanders will become the first English county to lose free at the point of delivery NHS, if they “have to pay through the nose” to be able to access hospital services.

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Julian shares this latest news on behalf of Island Labour. Ed

Island Labour utterly condemns the Conservative Council’s plans to end the Cross-Solent Travel scheme which gives free travel for seriously ill patients attending appointments on the mainland.

Earlier this year, Islanders learned that a further 11% of services previously offered at St Mary’s would be transferred to the mainland.

A double whammy
Now vulnerable Islanders will be hit with a double whammy of both having to travel to obtain treatment they should be able to access here, and also being at the mercy of inflated ferry prices.

There will be many patients who are left vulnerable and alone because their families will not be able to afford to be with them when they most need it.

Extra hidden costs for Islanders
This is yet another example of Tory policy unfairly affecting vulnerable people – the people who will feel the most impact of this proposal, should it go ahead, are those who have the misfortune to require medical treatment, especially regularly, and those who are poor.

It is not responsible or fair.

It’s not fair that Islanders should have extra hidden costs above those of other UK citizens, to receive treatment on the NHS.

Critchley: Cutting public services
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:

“It was just a few days ago when Phillip Hammond stood up in the House of Commons and in my view, lied to the nation by saying austerity was over.

“The day after, our local Tory council announced it was cutting another raft of vital public services while putting up council taxes. Despite almost unanimous public opposition, the same Tories on the council have since voted unanimously to cut the Local Area Coordinators.”

Critchley: “Islanders should be outraged”
He went on to say.

“Now this latest cut. Islanders should be outraged. First the Tories have cut our hospital services on the Island, and now they’re even removing the support sick people need to access those services on the mainland.

“If this cut goes ahead, then essentially we Islanders will become the first English county to lose our free at the point of delivery NHS. The NHS is no longer free if patients have to pay through the nose to be able to access the hospital services they are entitled to.

“It is now quite clear that the Tories, both locally and nationally, believe that Islanders’ votes can be taken for granted. At the next elections, it will be up to Islanders to prove them wrong. We should all remember this.”

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018 10:52am



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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10 Comments on "Isle of Wight could become first to lose ‘free at point of delivery NHS’, says Critchley"

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I had the misfortune to have to go to Southampton General the other week as the operation that I needed was not available at St Marys, and I was sent home with a temporary drain etc hanging from my chest. I had a phone call in the morning asking if I could attend a pre-assessment appointment at 16-00pm that day so no letter with an appointment time… Read more »

Sadly, they might die…. I suppose if it’s an emergency, they will be conveyed to the mainland via ambulance…. It’s a bloody disgrace if the only option is treatment is on the mainland and the patient has to pay…Doesn’t happen in the Scottish Isles…


Absolutely right Julian: move services to the mainland (to cut costs) and then remove subsidies for those who have to travel for treatment to cut costs). Austerity isn’t over it’s getting worse !

Alternative Perspective

This really serious, where is our MP Bob a Seely?


You’ll find him on Twitter posting lies and far-right nuttery.

Don’t bother trying to contact him on there though; if you post something contrary to his ideology he’ll just ignore it.

The Cross Solent Travel Scheme was always paid for by the Islands NHS. The funding for this service was stopped in 2015/16 because the IOW NHS Trust could no longer afford it. The Independent Administration in power at County Hall at that time, picked up the funding rather than have very ill Islanders having to pay for travel across to the mainland. The real cuts here are… Read more »
Phil Jordan
AJ: You’re right to say that the Independents refused to cut this travel subsidy when in office. I personally sat on the Health & Well Being Board at the time and was involved in numbers of heated discussions about this travel cost. We believed it was an utter travesty to remove the travel costs by the NHS but supported our residents by contributing in spite of the… Read more »

ANOTHER cut from the scummy tories, every day they dream up one for those paying in. Ok enough enough is enough,time for us to stop paying in.


The ongoing withdrawal of essential medical services on IOW is a terrifying prospect & given that chemotherapy in particular, frequently generates exhaustion, nausea & vomiting, it seems particularly inhumane to expect sick people to undertake journeys to the mainland at all.

Also,it should not cost people £100+ to transport a vehicle seven miles to the mainland, each way. Inane!


Would it help St. Mary’s/NHS if people arriving at A&E because of alcohol or drug problems are charged for their treatment and or ambulance?