|Patient Transfers Update - 16 June 2021|
From September 16 2021, border controls have changed for Isle of Man Residents returning to the Island who have travelled from the Common Travel Area (CTA – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands). If you are a resident and you have not travelled outside of the CTA in the 10 days preceding your return to the Island there will no longer be any testing or isolation requirements, and you need only complete a Landing Card prior to your return. Please visit the Covid-19 website for details of the new rules and information about how to make your on-line application. Patients who cannot make an on-line application, for example because their journey is at very short notice, will still be processed at the port on production of photographic ID and their patient transfers travel documentation. However, this may lead to significant delay at the port and we would urge you complete the on-line process wherever possible in order to avoid this.
Funded and unfunded escorts
Please note that many hospitals in the UK continue to restrict visitors and the policy for the hospital you are attending will be looked at by the Nurse Assessor if you are assessed for a funded escort to accompany you to an appointment. Escort assessment will continue to take place on a per journey basis and will be individually assessed by the independent Nurse Assessment Team. Please contact the Patient Transfer Office using the contact details on this page and they will arrange for you to be assessed for escort purposes if this is required and will make the necessary travel arrangements.
If you do not qualify for a funded escort on clinical grounds but wish to take somebody with you for support, we would advise that you check out the policy of the hospital you are attending either by using the contact details on your appointment letter or looking at their website.
Guidance for travelling to and in the UK - Face coverings and social distancing
Although no longer a legal requirement, face coverings should be worn in taxis (including private hire vehicle) especially if you are clinically vulnerable, and are expected in potentially crowded areas such as on public transport whilst visiting England. Social distancing should also be practised by the clinically vulnerable and may be required by the hospital you are attending in order to reduce the risk of infection.
Contact details and opening times
Address: Patient Transfer Office, Crookall House, Demesne Road, Douglas, IM1 3QA
For transport to or from an appointment in the UK, please telephone +44 1624 642673
(Open 9am to 5pm Mon to Fri [excluding Public Holidays]. Closed for lunch 1 to 2pm. If you require urgent assistance outside of the normal Patient Transfer operating hours, please contact the Air Ambulance Service Co-ordinator on +44 1624 650000)
For transport to or from an appointment in the Isle of Man, phone Bus Vannin on +44 1624 642666
(Open 8.30am to 4.30pm Mon to Fri [excluding Public Holidays]. Closed for lunch 12 to 1pm)
Transport for Appointments within the Isle of Man
Bus Vannin now provides the service for persons requiring transport to or from a healthcare facility in the Island, and Bus Vannin has assumed responsibility for taking bookings for this service.
This service 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.
Patient Transfers to the 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.
Manx Care 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 agreements are in place 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 and Accommodation Costs for Patients and Escorts Visiting the UK” below for information about the criteria for funded escorts and rates of assistance.
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.
Expenses for NHS patients and companions only
The Patient Transfer Office is based at Crookall House.It exists to provide travel and accommodation for NHS patients referred to the UK by Noble's Hospital. We cannot arrange or fund journeys in any other circumstances (i.e. we cannot book or fund travel or associated costs for any patient unless the journey is necessary to attend the UK for an appointment which is the result of an NHS referral by Noble's Hospital).
Authorised escorts accompanying patients to the UK
When making a referral to the UK, the referring consultant may request an assessment of your fitness to travel via scheduled services. If this happens a member of the Air Ambulance Service will contact you to assess if you require assistance or any other special arrangements for the journey and, if so, they will ensure that this is arranged as part of the booking process. Occasionally, the Air Ambulance assessment team may decide that even with special assistance you are not fit enough to travel alone, in which case they may authorise funding for a family member or friend to accompany you. Please note that the Patient Transfer Office may only book or fund travel for an escort if this has been authorised by a member of the Air Ambulance Team following assessment.
If you have not been referred to the Air Ambulance Team for assessment of your travel needs and you have concerns about your ability to travel to the UK, please raise with the Patient Transfer Office when making your booking and they will book any special assistance required for the journey and/or refer you to the Air Ambulance Team for assessment.
Travel and Accommodation Costs for Patients and Escorts Visiting the UK
Travel between home and the airport/sea terminal
Patients visiting the UK are expected to make their own travel arrangements between home and the airport or sea terminal. However, the NHS (Expenses in Attending Hospitals) Regulations 2004 do provide discretion for us to fund transport in a limited number of cases. A person meeting the criteria for assistance may apply for the on-Island component of their travel. We will only fund the lowest cost method of transport reasonable for the journey, and this will normally be provided by Bus Vannin. Only in exceptional cases would we consider paying for other means of transport such as a taxi or your car parking fees at the airport. Please enquire about options when booking your trip if you are eligible for funded on-Island transport and there is a medical or other reason that you cannot use the Bus Vannin service.
Travel between the Isle of Man and the UK
Manx Care currently has agreements with Loganair for flights and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for sea travel between the Isle of Man and the UK. The Patient Transfer Office will book air or sea travel with one of these carriers for journeys between the IOM and the UK for patients and escorts authorised by Manx Care to travel to the UK. We may only fund a journey starting and finishing in the Isle of Man and which is 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 normally 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. Also, we cannot book or fund travel or other costs for a patient travelling from elsewhere (e.g. returning from holiday) to attend an appointment, or for escorts or visitors travelling from anywhere other than the Isle of Man. In these cases, patients and escorts will need to book and fund their own travel and accommodation.
Travel whilst in the UK
Manx Care currently has a contract with the taxi firm Combabs for travel within Liverpool. If your appointment is in Liverpool, we will book a Comcabs taxi to take you between the airport/ferry terminal and the healthcare facility and accommodation and healthcare facility as appropriate and required. 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 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, Manx Care may contribute up to £50 per person per night towards the cost of your accommodation and, within London, up to £74 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. Please note that we may only contribute towards accommodation costs actually incurred and on production of an official receipt. We do not, for example, make a contribution if you are staying in a property you own in the UK or you are staying with friends, relatives, acquaintances, etc.
Type of accommodation we may fund
If you need to stay in the UK for a short period (certainly under a week) it may be assumed necessary for you to book into a hotel or guest house and so we may pay up to £50 per person per night (£74 if in London) on production of receipts.
For longer stays it usually will not be necessary to stay in a hotel. In these cases, we would normally price up a suitable apartment and offer this amount as a contribution toward your accommodation costs. As stated above, we may only pay this amount on production of a valid receipt. We cannot make any contribution towards a stay with friends, relatives etc.
Please note that we may only pay towards the cost of the accommodation. We cannot pay towards the cost of food, toiletries or any other purchases you may make.
Patients in the UK for extended periods
If a patient has to spend an extended period in the UK, but is fit to travel and wishes to visit home in between treatment, then we would normally fund at least one return visit to the Island after each 2 weeks that the person remains a patient in the UK.
Alternatively, if the patient would otherwise be alone for an extended period in the UK (e.g. because they are not accompanied by a companion funded by the Patient Transfer Office and they cannot for any reason return home to the Island for a visit), then we would normally fund at least one visit to the UK by a friend or relative after each 2 weeks that the person remains a patient in the UK. Funding for each such trip will normally be for one return journey plus payment of the contribution towards actual accommodation costs for up to 3 nights per visit.
The above are general guidelines, and the actual frequency of visits funded by the Patient Transfer Office will always be based on whatever is reasonable in the circumstances. For example, if a patient is undergoing a course of radiotherapy in the UK, then the Department would fund a visit home each weekend if the patient requests this. You should ask the Patient Transfer Office for advice about visits home, or for someone to visit you in the UK, if you envisage a stay of two weeks or more in the UK for medical care.
Port Security Awareness Information
Patients travelling off-Island will, of course, be subject to port security, and those with certain medical conditions or disabilities may wish to be dealt with in a more discreet manner. Whilst security staff are under a legal obligation to satisfy themselves that no passenger is carrying a prohibited article or substance, reasonable adjustments to the security process may be made if requested, including, for example, having a search conducted in private. Please see a copy of the security awareness notes issues by the Isle of Man Airport.
If you have any queries, please contact the Patient Transfers Team.