There are fears some Isle of Wight cancer patients could be made to travel to Oxford in order to receive treatment if new proposals are given the green light.

In an attempt to “modernise” services NHS England is considering creating a “network at Oxford for radiotherapy patients in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset”.

NHS England hopes it will increase access to clinical trials, and allow delivery of more treatment in specialised areas.

Meanwhile the Isle of Wight Council has expressed concerns over travel arrangements and costs for patients and their families.  

In a letter to NHS England Scrutiny Officer Paul Thistlewood wrote:

“The issue of patients having to travel across the Solent to receive treatment at mainland facilities is not new. It is accepted that for more specialised services these have to be delivered by hospitals on the mainland. These are normally seen as being either at Southampton or Portsmouth. This requires a patient, often accompanied by a family member, friend or carer to travel with them to provide support and where necessary assist with the transport arrangements.”

He added:

“The Council’s Policy and Scrutiny Committee on Adult Social Care and Health has noted that for our sub region there is a suggestion of creating a network at Oxford for radiotherapy patients in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset.

The travel arrangements for a journey from the island to Oxford have great implications for patients not only in terms of distance and time but also costs.”

Read the letter in full here