Scilly’s Health Watchdog Launching New Medical Travel Questionnaire

Carol Clarke from LINk4Scilly

LINk4Scilly, the islands’ health watchdog, is launching a questionnaire to find out whether new medical travel arrangements are working.

LINk manager, Carol Clarke, says the feedback will run for the next three months and the aim is to collect real data showing how well the new systems are working and whether changes in transport provision to the islands is affecting peoples experience.

Carol says the last few months have been challenging with some people having very real problems getting to and from medical appointments.

She says that while the situation with booking consultations has improved, some people are still receiving appointments at 9am which are impossible ato attend in a single day from Scilly.

Carol says in this situation, it’s always worth ringing to try to get the time changed.

From Radio Scilly

Carol Clarke talks to Radio Scilly about the new transport questionnaire.

She says recent feedback has shown that that clinic staff have been very flexible, even seeing patients from Scilly during lunch times.

The Hospital Trust has also made it clear that the ‘three strikes policy,’ where if you miss three appointments, you’re moved to the back of the waiting list, will not apply if clinics are missed because of travel problems.

Carol said the system is ‘working’ with more staff understanding the issues faced by islands’ patients, but warned it’s still not ‘fixed.’

Kernow Commissioning Group, who will be buying most of our clinical services in the future are keen to get services closer to the patients and that includes siting clinics away from Truro in places such as Penzance, which will help residents of Scilly.

St Mary’s hospital has also introduced tele-consultations, which mean some patients don’t even have to travel to the mainland.

Carol says questionnaires will be available at the airport, so people can fill them in as they’re passing through. They’ll also be at the Link4Scilly offices in Hugh Town and at the Health Centre.

She says they hope to have a report available soon after the closing date in April.