Healthcare Travel Scheme
Red Funnel Healthcare Travel Scheme for Isle of Wight Residents
Red Funnel's Healthcare Travel Scheme is one of 3 available to Isle of Wight residents to help subsidise the cost of attending NHS medical appointments or treatment on the mainland. The other schemes, covering different patient groups are run by the NHS and the IoW Council.
Red Funnel's scheme provides discounted foot passenger travel to eligible Isle of Wight residents who have an NHS medical appointment in Southampton.
A special return passenger ferry fare of £9.70 per person is available for the patient and one person travelling with them. Where the patient is a child, the discounted fare is available for up to 2 adults travelling with the child. Please note the fare only applies to sailings from East or West Cowes after 8:45am (exceptions may be made for earlier appointments).
How to take advantage of the scheme
- Download the application form here or on the right to check eligibility.
- If you meet the criteria, take the completed form + your appointment letter/card to the terminal and present it when buying your ticket.
NHS National Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme
You may be able to claim a refund under the 'Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme' (HTCS) for the cost of travelling to hospital or other NHS premises for NHS-funded treatment or diagnostic test arranged by a doctor or dentist.
To qualify for help with travel costs under the HTCS, you must meet 3 conditions:
1. At the time of your appointment, you or your partner (including civil partners) must be receiving one of the qualifying benefits or allowances, or meet the eligibility criteria of the NHS Low Income Scheme.
2. Your journey must be made to receive NHS-funded non-primary medical or non-primary dental care services, to which you have been referred to by a GP, dentist or hospital consultant.
3. For referrals made by a GP or dentist, the service must be provided on a different day and in premises other than those occupied by the GP or dentist who made the referral.
You can claim travel costs for your children if 2 or 3 above applies to them and you are in group 1 above at the time of the appointment. Any young person aged 16 or over may make their own Low Income Scheme claim – there is more information in leaflet HC11- Help with health costs (PDF, 287.10 kb).
You can claim travel costs for an escort, if your doctor, dentist or consultant says that for medical reasons you need someone to travel with you.
You cannot claim help with travel costs, if
a) You are visiting someone in hospital. However, visitors in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits may be able to receive assistance in the form of a Social Fund payment. Further information about this assistance can be obtained from Jobcentre Plus offices
b) You are visiting your local GP or dentist for routine primary care services, such as check-ups, vaccinations, cervical cancer screening or minor surgery, as these are excluded from the scheme. Urgent primary care services during the out of hour periods (i.e. between 6.30pm and 8.00pm weekdays, at weekends or on bank holidays) are also excluded.