It’s possible Isle of Wight council could scrap free cross-Solent travel for NHS patients

Cllr Clare Mosdell says the IWC have no legal duty to fund it and “in challenging times, we feel we should look at protecting the frontline services we are legally obliged to fund”.

Ambulance coming off the ferry

The council share this latest news. Ed


A council funded scheme that gives free cross-Solent travel to NHS patients with specific illnesses is being reviewed and Islanders can give their views on its future.

The Cross Solent Travel Scheme is a discretionary, non-means tested measure providing financial support to NHS patients travelling to the mainland to receive specific treatments for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis.

The scheme is owned and administered by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust but since 2006, when the NHS ceased its funding, the council has supported residents by picking up the annual cost.

Mosdell: “We have no legal duty to fund it”
Cllr Clare Mosdell, Cabinet member for adult social care and public health.

“No other council in the country provides non-means tested funding to transport NHS patients and so in the light of the savings this council needs to make we must look at whether we can continue to fund it.

“The scheme is currently allocated £60,000 per year.

“We have no legal duty to fund it and in challenging times, we feel we should look at protecting the frontline services we are legally obliged to fund such as adult social care or mental health services.

“However, it’s really important to us that we listen to the views of Islanders to inform any decisions about the future funding of this scheme.”

Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme
Where people have low income or are in receipt of specific qualifying benefits, the NHS has a statutory duty to reimburse their travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme (HTCS). This NHS funded scheme remains in place.

Ferry operators also offer discounts to those who are going to the mainland to receive medical treatment. Links to those schemes are:

In 2005, the NHS made a decision to withdraw the discretionary scheme that reimbursed people who were not eligible to claim for their travel costs under the HTCS. The restricted nature of the scheme means that many people with other conditions do not receive assistance.

Find out more and have your say
The consultation will run until 23 December 2018. To take part in the online consultation, please visit the survey.

Background information on the scheme can be found on the iWight Website.

Hard copies can be requested from Healthwatch on (01983) 608608 or text 07739 436600.

You can also pick a hard copy up at libraries, GP practices, Hospital, Citizens Advice, People Matter IW, and the Riverside Centre, Newport.

Please return your hard copy by 24 December 2018 to:

Healthwatch Isle of Wight
The Riverside Centre
The Quay
Newport
PO30 2QR

Image: EDDIE under CC BY 2.0

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8 Comments on "It’s possible Isle of Wight council could scrap free cross-Solent travel for NHS patients"

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prof
A few months back shifting health services to the mainland were justified with claims of subsidisec ferry travel. Now, before the ink has hit the paper on that arrangement the council is pulling the rug out from under us. How long, I wonder, will it be before the ferry companies follow suit? I seriously doubt that Cllr Mosdell is unaware of the difference between travel off an… Read more »
happycloud
Maybe Councillor Mosdell would like to make the trip to Southampton hospital everyday for 3 weeks, at this time of year, as my mum had to for radiotherapy and see how much of a nightmare it is. It’s a hideous trip anytime of year but throw in cold, windy and wet weather , the fact you feel absolutely rubbish and she might, might learn something. This makes… Read more »
holdmyheadinmyhands

The vulnerable being hit again ….. 💔

davimel
What is wrong with just CARING about others? Where did it go? Our council are so busy attacking the sick that they don’t even consider the human factor, or that we have feelings, or that there ARE some Islanders who may not need these services, but know that they are a vital help for those with dire health issues. I may be sent to the mainland for… Read more »
boatman
It was not long ago Cllr Mosdell was espousing the value of Area Co-ordinators, that was before she voted to axe that service. Now it is the turn of those who need to travel to receive health services unavailable on the Island just because they have no statutory duty to provide support. What about the non-statutory and very expensive provision at the Heights – by passing that… Read more »
Barney McGrew

Cllr Mosdell is protecting front line services? This after scrapping Local Area Co-Ordinators of which she was such a vociferous champion.

chrissy2712
No legal duty perhaps but a moral one? Yes! Come and join us at the Council Offices next Wednesday at 5.30pm where we will demonstrate outside before the Council meeting and then move to the public gallery inside where we will also make our presence felt. People on the Island are at last waking up and seeing what this dastardly council have in store for us and… Read more »
chrissy2712