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November, 13 2017
Hovertravel holds rescue meeting for Wessex Cancer Trust minibus service
Hovertravel has hosted a meeting to start a co-ordinated community effort to keep The Wessex Cancer Trust minibus service operating.
Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explains: “With the funding from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group no longer available for this vital transport service, Hovertravel wanted to assist with the efforts to find a solution, and it was humbling to see the outpouring of support from the island community, including Bob Seely MP as well as the local Cancer Support groups and its workers.
Thankfully I am pleased to advise that following this very positive meeting, funding from anonymous donations has been secured to keep the minibus operating until Spring 2018. There are also several other options for longer-term funding including Hovertravel donating 10% of its current NHS fare. We have all agreed to meet again in the New Year to continue to progress how we can identify a sustainable source of funding for this most important service .”
The meeting was attended by Cait Allen:Wessex Cancer Trust, Sofie Bennett: Wessex Cancer Trust, Mike Seizer-Green: Wessex Cancer Trust, Neil Chapman: Hovertravel, Loretta Lale: Hovertravel, Gary Eldridge: Hovertravel, Dave Kiely: Prostate Cancer Support Group, Mary Seymour: Skin, Head and Neck Cancer Support Groups, Bob Seely MP, Martin Fuller: NHS Hospital Trust, Chris Jarman and June Ring.
Cait Allen, Chief Executive Wessex Cancer Trust, adds: “I know Neil has spoken to many of Hovertravel’s customers over the last week, including those who use this essential link, and that everyone at Hovertravel was keen to help bring the community together to find a solution.
As well as a big thanks to Hovertravel, I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who attended this meeting today and with the plans we have agreed today I am confident we can secure the future of The Wessex Cancer Trust minibus for several years to come.”
Since 2014 patients travelling across to Portsmouth for cancer treatment having been using a dedicated bus service which runs between the Hovertravel terminal at Southsea and Portsmouth Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham. Each year the bus provides over 8,000 passenger journeys for cancer patients from the island.
Originally three years funding was provided by The NHS (Primary Care Trust) however the CCG is no longer able to fund patient transport services outside of the national eligibility scheme.
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