Medical Travel To Mainland Could Be Important Social Benefit

hospital  nhs sign 2Reducing the number of medical trips to the mainland could take away an important social benefit for islanders.

That was the view Chris Blong, the Vice Chair of the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group at their board meeting, held on the islands for the first time yesterday.

The group is made up of managers and GPs from across the region and they coordinate the NHS medical services offered to patients.

Chris’ comments came during a discussion with Scilly’s health professionals about ways to treat more patients on the islands.

He said he knows a couple of islanders and “the only way they get off the islands is during medical trips.”

If it gives them a chance of a break away from their home or for shopping on the mainland, he said, it could be seen as a justifiable cost.

But the Council’s Senior Manager For Community Services, Aisling Hick, says that’s not common.

Most people don’t want to travel because they’re scared of getting stuck overnight and the journey can be arduous, she said.

She was also concerned that during previous negotiations with Treliske Hospital over the travel warrant system, medical trips by islanders were seen as “jollies.”

Aisling questioned why there was a 10-day limit on the length of stay given on a medical ticket. She said if someone’s going on a two-week holiday, it made sense to tag a medical visit on to the end of that, but it’s currently not allowed.

However, she praised the “Herculean effort” taken by Treliske to resolve issues with medical travel.

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