25% of survey complete.

The Isle of Wight Council understand that the costs (time and money) incurred by people who need to travel to the mainland for hospital care is a very real concern for local people.  This consultation seeks to obtain views from Island residents about the Isle of Wight Council’s current funding of cross Solent travel for people attending mainland hospital appointments for the purposes of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis.

Where people have a low income or are in receipt of specific qualifying benefits or allowances, the NHS has a statutory duty to reimburse their travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme (HTCS).  The discretionary council funded scheme goes beyond this and provides non-means tested support to people who would qualify for support from the HTCS. The Isle of Wight Council’s decision to provide this funding makes us nationally unique as no other local authority chooses to fund transport for NHS patients and there is no duty or responsibility placed on local authorities to do so.

Adult Social Care currently provides £60,000 per year to fund the cross Solent travel costs incurred by patients attending a mainland hospital for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis. This was a decision taken by Councillors several years ago and it is entirely discretionary.  

The council is considering whether or not it should continue to fund this cross Solent travel for two reasons:

First, in such challenging financial times, the council must take very difficult decisions in how it can best meet its duties and responsibilities despite the significant reduction in funding from Government.

Second, the council is also concerned about the inequitable nature of this funding. It only supports those local residents who are travelling for a restricted range of treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis), meaning that those people who have to undergo cross Solent travel to attend a mainland hospital for an equally serious illness or life- saving treatment receive no financial support from the council.    

Accordingly, the funding of this scheme was identified as a potential budget saving for 2018/19. 

The council, however, recognises the importance of hearing and considering the views of Island residents to inform any decisions about the future funding of this scheme. That is why it has embarked upon this public consultation and is using Healthwatch as an independent partner to administer the consultation and analyse the results.  

We would be very grateful if you would complete this short questionnaire. We value your experience, knowledge and comments as someone who either has used the current scheme or as a member of the wider population who may possibly need to travel to the mainland for treatment in the future.

To help you answer the survey questions, additional background information and a link to frequently asked questions can be found here

This consultation will run until the 23 December 2018. 

This is an anonymous questionnaire and any comments will be reported in a way which protects the identity of the respondent.

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* 1. Have you at any time in the past 12 years had to travel to the mainland to attend a medical appointment?

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* 2. Was your mainland medical appointment for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis?

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* 3. Did your level of income and benefits entitle you to claim your travel costs under the means tested statutory Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme (HTCS)?
For more information about the Healthcare Travel  Cost Scheme, please click here