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Isle of Wight to Southampton NHS rally

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People concerned about planned changes to NHS services on the Isle of Wight have taken part in a rally to voice their concerns.Patients could be made to travel across the Solent to Hampshire for treatment as part of a planned shake-up.Isle of Wight NHS Trust said its proposals would allow more care to be provided closer to home.Steve Gibbs, of Save the Isle of Wight NHS group, described it as a “cost-cutting exercise”.As part of the plans island patients may need to travel to hospitals in Southampton or Portsmouth.”It’s not like you’ve just got to go down the road to receive treatment, you’ve got to come across a stretch of water,” Mr Gibbs said.He said the extra travel could also affect the recovery time of patients.

The concerns were highlighted during Saturday’s march from St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, to Southampton General Hospital.A spokesman for Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “Our intentions are that patients in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will benefit from more health and care services being provided closer to, or in, their homes over the next five years.”He also said they would have more choice about when and where to receive treatment, and spend less time waiting for appointments and test results.Some patients qualify for the trust’s free patient transport or a refund on their travel costs under the national healthcare travel costs scheme, he said.Solent ferry operators offer discounted fares for patients attending NHS treatment on the mainland.
Source: BBC Hampshire