Had Your Say On Cross-Solent NHS Travel? Health Bosses Comment

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An Isle of Wight Council-funded scheme that gives free cross-Solent travel to NHS patients with specific illnesses is being reviewed, and funding could be stopped.

A consultation runs until 23 December (TO FIND IT, CLICK HERE) and the Isle of Wight Council’s Member for Adult Social Care says she will abide by the results.

Clare Mosdell is urging Islanders to fill it in:

“We have an issue at the moment. The consultation isn’t being filled in. That will make it really difficult to evaluate. It is being independently run by Healthwatch. Please fill it in.

“I have given a commitment. Within my adult social care budget, if we have the results of that consultation and that £60,000 is felt by the Island’s community that it should stay, we will have to write to the NHS and say we will carry on giving you £60,000 for non-means tested cancer travel.

“If we are going to put more services to the mainland, where is that answer? How are we funding [it]?”

Maggie Oldham Image: IW NHS Trust

Isle of Wight Radio asked Isle of Wight NHS Trust Chief Executive Maggie Oldham what part her organisation could play. She said,

“Undoubtedly, what we all recognise on the Island, all the leaders, is that travel is a major issue and we are taking that seriously. We, as the NHS Trust, are very receptive to being involved as much as we’re able in future travel arrangements.”

CCG Interim Chief Martin Wakeley Image: CCG

What of the CCG? Interim MD Martin Wakeley told Isle of Wight Radio,

“We’ve had a number of meetings with councillors and with the local MP. What we’ll be doing, post the decision, is having a look at whether we might need to change our policies to support those people most in need.

“Cost should never be an obstacle to patients receiving life-saving care, so we need to come up with a solution, one way or another.”