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Patient transfers

Transport within the Isle of Man

From Monday 2 July 2018, Bus Vannin will be providing transport for persons requiring transport to or from a health care facility in the Island and the Patient Transport Office at Nobles will assume responsibility for taking bookings for this service.

Travel may only be booked if authorised by the Department. Patients should ask a health care professional (i.e. a Doctor or Nurse involved in their care) to make the booking if this service is required.

Contact details and opening hours for local transfers

This Office is open from 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays) and is closed for lunch between 12pm and 1pm. 

Tel: 01624 642666
Email address: martin.jones@gov.im

Patient transfers to UK

With the development of new, specialised techniques in the treatment of cancer, burns, transplants and many other fields, the number of patients being referred to UK hospitals has grown considerably in recent years. Currently, around 11,000 journeys are taken by Manx residents for health care purposes each year.

The Department has arrangements with hospitals in the UK to provide specialised treatments that are not available here in the Island. These hospitals are predominantly within the North West of England and have agreed to a contract to treat Manx patients when referred by Noble's Hospital Consultants. If such a referral is made, patients will need to travel to the UK. The Patient Transfer Team books air/sea travel in these cases and provides advice to patients about their journey. Please see the section 'Travel Expenses for Patients and Companions'  below for information about the criteria for funded escorts and rates of travel assistance.

Contact details and opening hours for UK transfers

This Office is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays) and is closed for lunch between 1pm and 2pm. 

Tel: 01624 642673
Email address: patient.transfers@gov.im

Referrals to UK hospitals

Your consultant, after discussing your treatment with you, may decide to refer you to a UK hospital for specialist NHS treatment. The consultant will then contact the hospital and the hospital will, in due course, contact you with an appointment time or date of admission. At the same time, your consultant will send a transport certificate to the Patient Transfers Team. The certificate will contain details of your referral, including any special arrangements required, such as the need for an escort. You will receive a tear-off page from the certificate, which will advise you of the relevant contact details.

When you have received notification of your appointment time and date of admission from the UK hospital, you should contact the Patient Transfers Office to book your journey. We will need a copy of your appointment letter before we can book any travel.

Travel Expenses for Patients and Companions

The Patient Transfer Office arranges travel for NHS patients referred by Nobles to the UK. We do not arrange or fund journeys for private medical treatment or those which are referred by a GP or other person not authorised to make referrals on behalf of Nobles.

Authorised escorts accompanying patients to the UK

Occasionally, a consultant may authorise a family member or friend to accompany the patient, in which case the Department will fund that additional person’s travel. We can only book these persons through the Patient Transfer Office if we have received a Transport Certificate completed by an authorised member of staff (normally a consultant at Nobles) and an escort is approved for funding on that certificate.

Travel Costs for patients and escorts visiting the UK

Travel within the Island

Patients visiting the UK are expected to make their own travel arrangements between home and Ronaldsway Airport or the sea terminal. However, the NHS (Expenses in Attending Hospitals) Regulations 2004 do provide discretion for us to pay reasonable travel expenses in a limited number of cases. A person meeting the criteria for assistance may apply for assistance for the on-Island component of their travel.  We will only fund the lowest cost method of transport reasonable for the journey.

Travel between the Isle of Man and the UK

The Patient Transfer Office will book air or sea travel between the IOM and UK for all patients and escorts authorised by the Department to travel to the UK. We may only book the travel necessary for the patient to receive their care in the UK. For example, if a patient has an outpatient appointment in Liverpool then they will be booked on a day return on the day of the appointment and this will only be changed on the basis of medical need. We cannot book or alter journey times to accommodate other activities that the patient or escort may wish to undertake whilst in the UK. In these cases, patients and escorts will need to book and fund their own travel.

Travel whilst in the UK

If your appointment is in Liverpool, we will book a taxi to take you between the airport/ferry terminal and the healthcare facility. Outside Liverpool, we will reimburse reasonable expenses between the UK airport and healthcare facility. You will need to book your own travel and submit a claim, together with receipts, to the Patient Transfer Office when you return home.

Accommodation whilst in the UK

Financial assistance may also be provided towards the cost of any accommodation that may be required as part of the visit to the UK. If you are staying in any area of the UK outside London the Department may contribute up to £28 per person per night and, within London, up to £41.50 per person per night. You will need prior authorisation for hotel accommodation from the Patient Transfer Team when booking your journey to the UK. If this authorisation is given, you will need to book your own accommodation and submit a claim, together with receipts, to the Patient Transfer Office when you return home.

Visitors whilst in the UK

Assistance may also available for someone to visit you if you are an inpatient in the UK for more than 2 weeks, in which case funding for each element of the trip would be similar to that applicable for patients and escorts detailed above. You should ask the Patient Transfer Office to request funding for a visitor if you envisage a stay of two weeks or more in the UK for medical care and you require funding for a visitor.

If you have any queries, please contact the Patient Transfers Team.

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