Isle of Man patient transfer services ‘to be reviewed’ – BBC News

The Isle of Man’s patient transfer system is “clunky” and will be reviewed, the health minister has said.

Currently the Manx government arranges air transport to Liverpool for patients who need treatment in UK hospitals.

David Ashford admitted the review was “long overdue” and said passengers should be given “more options”.

Following the collapse of Flybe earlier this month, patients have either had to travel to Heysham, Lancashire by ferry or arrange their own flights.

Mr Ashford said feedback suggested “several patients found the Steam Packet a better option for them”.

Flybe held the patient transfer contract which saw thousands of people transported to UK hospitals each year for specialised treatments not available on the island.

The airline’s collapse spelt the end for all Manchester and Birmingham flights, and more than half of connections to Liverpool.

Loganair stepped in to provide daily return flights to Liverpool, which started on Thursday.

Priority is given to patients on those journeys, which the Department of Infrastructure said was an “interim solution” while negotiations continued.

Mr Ashford said: “It is important we reassess the model and that we give people more options because the system we’ve been giving them recently, personally, I think has been rather clunky and not necessarily meeting patient demands.

“So let’s actually go out there and see what the patients who travel want, and see what we can do to change the service for them.”

No timescale has yet been set out for the review, he added.


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