It is being recommended that the Isle of Wight Council continues to fund travel for some NHS cancer patients, after a consultation and concern that the cross-Solent travel scheme could be stopped.

More than 1,800 people took part in a consultation run by Healthwatch Isle of Wight which was launched late last year, as Isle of Wight Radio reported.

According to papers being presented to the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet Members ahead of Thursday’s meeting, 14% of those who responded were eligible for the scheme and 71% had reclaimed their ferry costs through it.

More than 500 people told the consultation that they would not be able to afford to travel to the mainland for treatment including chemotherapy, radio therapy and renal dialysis, and would reconsider their treatment altogether if no funding was available.

Meanwhile, Healthwatch Isle of Wight is warning that fewer than half of those eligible currently use the scheme.

So, while it is recommended that the Isle of Wight Council continues to grant fund the NHS Trust £60,000 annually from its Adult Social Care budget (cash the NHS could choose to refuse), if more patients successfully apply for it, more money will need to be found and that will not come from the council.