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Patient transfers

The National Health Service Act 2001 governs the provisions of medical, nursing and dental treatment to Isle of Man residents. Under this Act, the Department of Health must provide these services either locally or, if necessary, at hospitals within the UK. It may, therefore be necessary for some patients to travel to the UK for specialist treatment presently not available in the Isle of Man.

With the development of new, specialised techniques in the treatment of cancer, burns, transplants and many other fields, the number of NHS patients being referred to off-Island hospitals has grown considerably in recent years. During 1991/1992, 1600 patient journeys were undertaken. By 2010/2011, the number had risen to 8200.

The Isle of Man Department of Health has made arrangements with hospitals in the UK to provide certain specialised treatments that are not available here on 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.

The hospital is charged for these treatments and consultations as they are not part of the reciprocal health agreement between the Isle of Man and England. To access these services, patients need to travel to the UK. The Patient Transfer Team will book air/sea travel and provide advice to patients about their journey.

Dependent on the patient's circumstances the cost of travel may be met by Noble's Hospital. Further detailed information about what you may be entitled to claim can be found in The National Health Service Act 2001 (Isle of Man) via the downloadable document on this page.

Please note as of 22 May 2017 The Patient Transfers Office will be closing between 1pm and 1.45pm for lunch.

Referral arrangements

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 preferred 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 require a tear-off page from the certificate, which will advise you of the relevant contact details.

Travel arrangements

When you have received notification of your appointment time or date of admission, you should contact:

Patient Transfers

Ground Floor

Noble’s Hospital



Telephone:+44 1624 642673

Fax:+44 1624 642617

Email:Send Email

The staff there will make all the necessary travel arrangements for you and provide advice if you encounter any problems with your visit.


The cost of travelling to and from a UK hospital may be met by the Department of Health - this could include air fares, boat fares, and travel to and from UK airports and hospitals.

This assistance covers the travel costs of you (the patient) and any escort that is authorised by the consultant.

We generally meet the cost of a friend or relative escorting a patient in any of the following circumstances:

  • When the patient is under 18 years of age
  • When an escort is required as an integral part of the treatment plan, for example, living donor
  • When the patient is pregnant and attending for treatment and or confinement
  • When the patient requires an escort to ensure their safety, for example, poor vision, learning difficulties, physical disability, mental illness

Assistance is also available for someone to visit you, if you are an inpatient, every 2 weeks. If you (or your escort or visitor) incurs any reasonable expenditure in travelling to and from the hospital in the UK which is not booked by the Patient Transfers Team, please keep the receipts and send them, with a completed expenses claim form, to the address above. The section will then consider what expenses are permitted and you will be reimbursed accordingly.

Financial assistance is also provided towards the cost of any accommodation that may be required for you, your escort or visitor. Outside of London, the Department of Health may contribute up to £28 per person per night and within London, up to £41.50 per person per night. Claims are normally made retrospectively and should always be accompanied by all relevant receipts and/or invoices.

Reimbursement of expenses incurred for taxi and hire cars, up to a maximum of £10 per day, will only be considered when public transport does not provide a suitable alternative.

When a patient's medical condition as assessed by the referring consultant, requires that a doctor or nurse escort be provided by the hospital, the full costs of this will be met by the hospital.

No financial or other assistance can be provided for patients travelling for private treatment.

If you have any queries regarding travel arrangements, accommodation, the provision of escorts etc, advice should be sought from the Patient Transfers Team.

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