Queen Alexandra Hospital

ISLANDER SPEAKS OUT ABOUT STRESS OF TRAVELLING TO THE MAINLAND FOR HOSPITAL TREATMENT

‘It is all getting too much and the stress keeps building up’ are the words of an Isle of Wight woman who has to frequently travel to the mainland with her partner for hospital treatment.

Speaking to the Isle of Wight Council’s health and social care scrutiny committee, Islander Paula told members about the troubles encountered by her partner Chris, and herself, as they travelled to the mainland for treatment.

Chris has suffered with chronic kidney failure for 4 years and is now on dialysis 3 or 4 times a day while being under the care of the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth for scans and treatments. Paula said she tries to look after Chris the best she can as he is unable to be put on the transplant list.

Article continues below this advertisement

Speaking to the committee, Paula said:

“Chris suffers from anxiety a lot on the ferry, it is not nice what he goes through. With Wightlink, it has been very difficult, he feels very aware of his condition.”

The fares, she said, were astronomical, with very little financial help, and although it is more comfortable for Chris to travel by car, it was not financially viable to do so in the long term. Even if they did cross by car, Chris would not be able to stay in the vehicle for the full crossing.

In March, Paula said Chris had a relapse, but because St Mary’s Hospital in Newport doesn’t have the facilities for Chris’s type of dialysis treatment, he had to be taken to Portsmouth by ambulance. However, he had to wait 2 days, before there was space for an ambulance on the ferry, she said, and Chris was left waiting in a corridor in St Mary’s.

She said:

Article continues below this advertisement

“We are both in our late 60s, it is all getting too much and this Wightlink business is just building up stress, the money side of it, waiting for the ferries but then they change the times.”

Chris has had to leave treatment early, Paula said, in the winter so they would not miss the last Fast Cat home.

Moving forward, Paula said she would like to see somewhere on the ferries and passenger services for ill patients, a quiet zone with accessible toilets so those undergoing treatment can feel comfortable and relaxed.

Councillor Clare Mosdell, the Isle of Wight Council’s former cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said discounts were not helpful when the prices of ferries fluctuate during peak seasons.

Article continues below this advertisement

She said there needs to be a set, reasonable amount people are charged all year round, so they can afford to make the journey and don’t end up spending their life savings just to have a treatment which if you lived on the mainland wouldn’t have the same cost attached.

Darren Cattell, from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said it was a longstanding issue but some progress has been made, with a commitment from each of the ferry operators to meet with representatives of patient groups, Healthwatch Isle of Wight and other statutory bodies.

Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
50 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Despondant
Despondant
7 months ago

Should be free for anyone who has to travel for medical treatments!

The Real Sunshine
The Real Sunshine
Reply to  Despondant
7 months ago

Free or an agreed ‘affordable’ set fee for the duration of the travel to and from the mainland hospital. The ferry companies could do this if they put their mind to it.

islander
islander
Reply to  The Real Sunshine
7 months ago

you can already claim travel expenses back from the NHS and Hovertravel already offers a patient day return at £12.50, which also includes the daisy bus to QA and back.

complaining about travel to portsmouth is about as relevant as complaining about travelling from ryde to newport – you still have to leave home and travel no matter what.

people can find £20 to spend on booze, ciggs and maccies/dominoes a day, but whinge and complain if they have to pay out for their own travel expenses.

Last edited 7 months ago by islander
Despondant
Despondant
Reply to  islander
7 months ago

If you have to go everyday for weeks for cancer treatment that they can’t do at our local hospital why should you have to pay, its not the same price as a bus fare it costs a small fortune !

joe
joe
Reply to  Despondant
7 months ago

despondant says… why should you have to pay

because you aren’t entitled to the time, effort and services of others for free – just because you are ill, doesn’t grant you the right to have the red carpet treatment, the waves parted and everything handed to you at no charge, whilst somenone else picks up the tab

Zippy
Zippy
Reply to  islander
7 months ago

An unsurprising response from you…

Paul
Paul
Reply to  islander
7 months ago

You’re an idiot Islander. Why should we pay extra when we have a Hospital on the Island that should be providing theses services. Mainlanders don’t pay for a standard service why should Islanders? If we can afford to house illegals in Hotels and supply Ukraine with weapons and supply the rest of the world with foreign aid why shouldn’t the government make sure patients especially specialist treatment be free. How can anyone justify why we should pay when we give our taxes away to other countries and put two fingers up to the people on the Island. We don’t ask to be Ill, what ever way you look at it stop giving away taxpayer money and spend it on the people of this country.

joe
joe
Reply to  Paul
7 months ago

mainlanders pay for travel costs to the local hospital and claim it back – instead of insulting paul, perhaps you should cease being a self entitled sponger and realise that the world doesn’t revolve around you and you need to pay your way if you want services

Paul
Paul
Reply to  joe
7 months ago

I work full time and don’t sponge as you say and pay my taxes Your just a stuck up p**k that happy for the tax payers of this country to fund the world and space programs when it should be spent on people in the country that need the help instead of suffering great pain financially and worrying weather they can afford it or not.

islander
islander
Reply to  Despondant
7 months ago

really – free – and who is going to pay the staff wages, without ticket revenue?

Despondant
Despondant
Reply to  islander
7 months ago

Out of the vastly overpriced tickets they charge everybody else !

Tony Islander
Tony Islander
Reply to  Despondant
7 months ago

If you are reading this then you are fortunate in being tech savvy. Maybe you also support the notion of the paperless society!

The Big Truth
The Big Truth
7 months ago

Ask Bob Seely why he hasn’t challenged ferry prices, and why his party has let the NHS go to rack and ruin.

Perhaps Islanders will think carefully when voting next time.

The Real Sunshine
The Real Sunshine
Reply to  The Big Truth
7 months ago

If they bother to vote at all. Majority don’t which I think is terrible. If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about anything!

Cambridge don
Cambridge don
Reply to  The Real Sunshine
7 months ago

Maybe not but at least they pass the lQ test in ducking for the selection… next,same cheek of the derriere candidate.If you had the choice between typhus or cholera how would you vote ? and how does the similar choice scenario not apply at WEFminster for four years of the next bankster puppets ?

Ceecee
Ceecee
7 months ago

I vlogged the journey from west wight to Southampton hospital https://youtu.be/2ywkhdMctO8?si=0CndZaMtFe64nEts

Tim
Tim
7 months ago

This is a sad, but all too often heard story. But on the positive – isn’t it better to go to the mainland for the specialist care needed rather than receive poor or no care here on the Island. We would all love our hospital to be a one-stop-shop but it can’t, nor ever will be. This is no different to those living in rural Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands, Scottish Islands. An hour journey to the specialist care is far less then others endure.

bob one
bob one
7 months ago

your better off going there. island hospital don’t know what to do if you turn up there

Miss Sensible
Miss Sensible
7 months ago

They definitely need to sort out pricing, it’s so expensive and as the lady said stressful, I can’t imagine being ill and struggling to travel!
A quiet space would be a good idea ,as many islanders have to travel for treatment on the mainland , hope they sort this out ….

rodney rodney burt
rodney rodney burt
7 months ago

Surely if the island population warrants 2 MP so they tell us treatment should be available on the island i had to travel 5 weeks to Portsmouth for prostate treatment which should have been available on the island

Paul
Paul
Reply to  rodney rodney burt
7 months ago

One dickheads enough, especially as they always have there own agenda what ever party

Steph
Steph
7 months ago

All fares should be paid for by government as it not these poor peoples or any other needing treatment the island hospital can’t cater for .
These and others have paid the national insurance the whole of their working life and that being paid is what covers hospital treatment or admission.amongst other things

So basically the ferry companies should claim the fares back and the patients should not be charged up front as many people could not afford the outlay

Know it all
Know it all
7 months ago

Yes i can relate to all of this chaos. I had to travel to a hospital in Salisbury for investigation prior to recommended surgery on my spine. This went on for many weeks, coupled with the expense of actually getting there . Some of these investigations could easily have been done on the island. MRI and CT scans to name a few. My experience was not as stressful as Chris ,but i am 74 and had to make my own way there. After all those miles traveling, the surgeon decided not to operate as it carried some risk. I had no help with costs, not entitled apparently.

David
David
7 months ago

The island Hospital should look after all patients needs, why in 2023
do patients have to travel to the mainland for treatment.
It is shocking, without the help from mainland Hospitals,
Islanders would sadly die

Susan N
Susan N
Reply to  David
7 months ago

Which is why it’s amazing to me why people often don’t support better pay for NHS staff and leave some vile comments under any mention of strikes. Surely we would like more doctors and nurses at our hospital rather than at private Spire or Bupa? And how do you lure specialists with years of education and experience? With good money and working conditions, douh.

John Smith
John Smith
Reply to  Susan N
7 months ago

Indeed. In one breath they compain about having to travel to the mainland for treatment or the inability to see a GP, in the next they are telling them to get back to work as they earn more than most.

There is a huge shortage of doctors, nurses and other skilled staff such as paramedics and radiologists. There are two ways to increase their numbers. Train more and restore their pay to 2010 levels or recruit from overseas.

Trouble is, the geriatric old Daily Mailers who infest this site don’t like either of those options but still bleat and whine about not being able to see a doctor.

The real irony is that it is them, not immigrants, putting the most pressure on the NHS with most immigrants on the Island work for it.

islander
islander
Reply to  John Smith
7 months ago

no – it is immigrants – have you been to QA lately – barely anyone in the waiting room speaks english

Paul
Paul
Reply to  islander
7 months ago

Racist as well then islander

I Believe
I Believe
7 months ago

We are sorely in need of a hospital that can cater for all the needs of Island residents. The mainland hospitals do a fantastic job, and as a recent visitor to the QA I have to say that without them I might not be writing this today. St Mary’s did as much as they could but without the equipment or staff, could not perform the life saving op I required. Before considering more house building the council should be considering what infrastructure is needed to cope with existing islanders instead of looking at ways to increase the island population. A fully functioning hospital is a necessity that is badly needed.Sick people do not need the added stress of having to rely an often non functioning ferry service (weather, lack of staff)

Susan N
Susan N
Reply to  I Believe
7 months ago

Plus an extra issue is that Island housing is mostly detached houses. Urban sprawl is net negative for the council – all the maintenance for road and utilities for 1 house costs way more than that house pays in council tax. It’s way better ratio for mid-rises. If we continue going after detached houses then council tax will have to grow (each new house doesn’t pay for itself thus require everyone’s tax to raise) without any services improving at all. And that’s a best case scenario if we have 0% inflation.

Not saying detached houses are bad… but they just have this 1 disadvantage of being tax-inefficient. Unlike mainland, we don’t have cities with high-rises to pay the balance.

Last edited 7 months ago by Susan N
Head Hitter
Head Hitter
Reply to  Susan N
7 months ago

High density housing is often filled with tenants who receive everything in benefit and pay no tax.

Mark that against most detached houses which are owned by the occupier who pays full council tax, and if they have been prudent and saved or have a private pension, pay income tax on their pension.

Susan N
Susan N
Reply to  Head Hitter
7 months ago

All those high-density buildings in London are full of people on benefits? High-rises next to Tate Modern for example? I highly doubt it.

Nothing inherent about it, just culturally people who “want to own a home” tend to choose houses in England because leasehold is crap (long live Scottish commonhold), while government is doing sensible thing and uses cost-effective high-density for social services which may skew your perspective here – but there’s no denying there’s plenty of expensive mid and high rises all over the world, and all research shows they are more tax-effective.

But I work for the City and earn money for investors on this so what would I know.

Head Hitter
Head Hitter
Reply to  Susan N
7 months ago

No, not talking about the high-rises next to the Tate Modern which must account for an infinitesimal percentage of the norm. I’m talking about high density which may include high rises. You can’t realistically separate the two.

How about just about any borough in London, for instance South Norwood / Croydon, Tottenham etc. who both (as well as many others) boast a totally failing infrastructure in both high rises and high density housing.

Well done for working in the City and earning money for investors. Good for you, do you live on the IoW just out of interest?

Susan N
Susan N
Reply to  Head Hitter
7 months ago

To satisfy your interest, yep, 100% remote work from IOW since COVID.

John
John
Reply to  Head Hitter
7 months ago

You’re literally proving the point: obviously UK gov would choose most cost efficient form of buildings for their social benefits.

Cambridge don
Cambridge don
Reply to  I Believe
7 months ago

Osbourne House hospital has a certain ring to it ?

Philshannon
Philshannon
7 months ago

The report says…Darren Cattell, from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said it was a longstanding issue but some progress has been made, with a commitment from each of the ferry operators to meet with representatives of patient groups, Healthwatch Isle of Wight and other statutory bodies.” So even though the health bodies have moved essential and critical services to the mainland they has been no agreement to help island people attend these clinics, the help alleviate the huge cost of getting to and from the mainland?

Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper
7 months ago

I wonder how many of the people slagging off our hospital realise that the renal dialysis unit is run by portsmouth hospital on our site. The question for me is if this chap needs such intense treatment why is he still having to travel to a hospital which has a unit here, causing him more distress?

islander
islander
Reply to  Grim Reaper
7 months ago

people have a habit of dressing up their situation to make it look worse for sympathy and freebies – that is why

Paul
Paul
Reply to  islander
7 months ago

I rest my case islander. You only care about yourself but happily except freebie’s yourself I bet.

ron ashton
ron ashton
7 months ago

It is not safe for elderley/very sick peope to live on the island, our current hospital does
not have the facilities to cope with extreme illness. Unfortunately the only answer is to move
to the mainland

Gaz B.Sc.
Gaz B.Sc.
7 months ago

Instead of building thousands of houses here for the benefit of snort/piss/smack heads to be shipped over here into, why not use the money to build a decent hospital here that deals with every needed specialist case. It is a disgrace that ill people have to go through the stress and expense of having to travel to the mainland for treatment. A decent government would make this a priority for this much needed facility and would make the rich pay a donation towards it.

William
William
7 months ago

The bottom line is, they chose to live on a small island. That comes with benefits and problems.

fred
fred
Reply to  William
7 months ago

This is a strawman argument, stop being an apologist for the ferry companies and the Tories.
What about the ones that were born here? If we get ill we have to move to the mainland do we??? Why they live here and when they came here as nothing to do with how NHS patients are expected to foot an enormous travel bill along with the time and stress all because the Tories want to cut spending all the time.

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson
7 months ago

Like it or not, when you live on an island it comes with some drawbacks.

You can’t really expect to have everything on your doorstep and we all have to accept that at some stage, for some hospital treatments and various other reasons, we’re going to need to travel to the mainland.

Would you argue that, if you lived in other remote parts of the UK, you would expect to have hospitals and everything else close-by? No, of course you wouldn’t.

We live, by choice for the vast majority of us, on an island and we have to accept the problems that can bring us. If we don’t like it, there’s an alternative for most of us.

Given that ‘Chris’ suffers from anxiety when travelling on a ferry, living on ANY island would seem not to be ideal.

fred
fred
Reply to  Catherine Johnson
7 months ago

This is a strawman argument, stop being an apologist for the ferry companies and the Tories.
What about the ones that were born here? If we get ill we have to move to the mainland do we??? Why they live here and when they came here as nothing to do with how NHS patients are expected to foot an enormous travel bill along with the time and stress all because the Tories want to cut spending all the time.

WIghtturnaround
WIghtturnaround
7 months ago

£11.80!RED JET WITH HOSPITAL LETTER

fred
fred
7 months ago

Been like this for over a decade. A friend, island born and bread, was diagnosed with a serious disease that requires him to go to Southampton every three months for monitoring. He does his best to stay well and to stay in work. Unlike others who live on the mainland, he looses a days holiday each time he has to travel. And when his condition worsens he is stuck in Southampton with little contact with family. His condition was once handled on the island before he was diagnosed, the Tory cuts caused the units closure. Hope you liked your tax cuts.

Last edited 7 months ago by fred
joe
joe
Reply to  fred
7 months ago

so, he has to take annual leave for the day off – and your point is…he isn’t at work, so why should he be paid.
stuck in southampton – hardly timbuctoo is it -and I bet he has a phone

Ventnor
Ventnor
6 months ago

This is not complicated at all, the answer is simple. Bob Seeley should negotiate free travel with ferry operators for all islanders who have medical appointments on the mainland for no fault of their own. After all, it’s hardly a day out for people, especially requiring life saving cancer treatment. There is minimal administration work as all patients should be required to do is show their appointment card or letter on the day of travel which will in turn provide them with a free day return ticket. Simple.

 

Join our daily newsletter