A scheme that helps patients who have to travel from the Isle of Wight to the mainland for treatment will continue to be funded, it has tonight (Thursday) been decided. 

This evening, the Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet members have agreed to continue to grant the NHS £60,000 annually from its social care budget.

It is money that – if accepted by the NHS –  will be set aside to help patients travelling for chemotherapy, radiotherapy and renal dialysis.

The scheme’s future became uncertain when the council announced it had “no legal obligation” to fund it, and launched a consultation in November.

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

The Island’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Clare Mosdell, told Isle of Wight Radio:

“It’s 60,000 that should be used as a nudge in the right direction for the NHS but they really need to look at health travel. We’ll do our bit as the local authority. It’s not possible for us to manage it because we are the local authority – we deal with people’s council tax and bins, and when you look at it everything is means tested in adult social care…

“They need to address that bigger picture of health travel as well.”

The money for the non-means tested reimbursements will now be granted directly to the local NHS trust to fund the scheme, instead of the council operating it alongside the trust as it currently does.

Listen to the interview in full here:

Watch a video of the deciding meeting here: