All current adult services consultations are listed below.
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Discretionary Cross Solent Travel Scheme consultation
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.
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). In addition to this, until 2005 the NHS also operated a non-means funded discretionary scheme which reimbursed people for their cross Solent travel where they were required to attend mainland appointments for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis.
In 2005, the NHS made a decision to withdraw the discretionary scheme that reimbursed people who were not eligible to claim for their travel costs under the HTCS. It was at this time that Isle of Wight Council members expressed a commitment to assist local residents with the cost of travelling to the mainland for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or renal dialysis treatment. Since 2006 the Isle of Wight Council has funded the discretionary scheme through a recharge agreement with the NHS Trust.
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. The council currently provides Adult Social Care with £60,000 per year to support this discretionary scheme.
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. However, the council 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 launched a public consultation, using Healthwatch Isle of Wight as an independent partner to administer the consultation and analyse the results.
We are seeking to obtain views from Island residents about the Isle of Wight Council’s current funding of cross Solent travel for certain NHS patients and would like people to share their experience, knowledge and comments either as someone who 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.
The survey opens on Monday 12 November 2018.
The survey closes on 24 December 2018.
You can access the survey here
In order to answer some of the questions, you may find it helpful to refer to the frequently asked questions here
Hard copies can be requested from Healthwatch on (01983) 608608 or text 07739 436600.
You can also pick a hard copy up at libraries, GP practices, Hospital, Citizens Advice, People Matter IW, and the Riverside Centre.
Please return your hard copy by 24 December 2018 to:
Healthwatch Isle of Wight
The Riverside Centre