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West cowes

Healthcare Travel Scheme

Discounted fares for NHS patients

If you’re travelling to NHS medical appointments on the mainland or on the Isle of Wight, you’re eligible for discounted foot passenger rates on Red Funnel. A special return passenger ferry fare of £12.40 per person is available for the patient and a companion. Where the patient is a child, the discounted fare is available for up to two adults travelling with the child. Please note the fare applies to sailings from West Cowes after 08:45, although exceptions may be made for earlier appointments.

Specialist Care

While all of us at Red Funnel are ready to help support our customers along their journey, we are very proud to offer additional assistance via a dedicated support person, our Customer Services Specialist, Accessibility Support.

This role is in place to offer greater, personalised assistance those customers travelling with physical or hidden disabilities, accessibility needs, or for hospital/medical appointments. Through this more concierge style of support, we aim to offer our customers specialised assistance and peace of mind to ensure a more seamless travel experience. Customers can also enjoy working with a more consistent, single point of contact, who understands their needs.

For assistance, please contact 01983 681263, or email: [email protected]

Do you live on the Island and is this your first time travelling to the mainland for hospital treatment? 

We know this can feel daunting, so we’re here to help. No matter which ferry service you plan to travel with, feel free to reach out to us and our Customer Services Specialist, Accessibility Support will be happy to answer your questions and signpost some useful information.

How it works

  • A fare of £12.40 per person will be charged for the patient and a companion attending an NHS appointment or for NHS treatment under a named NHS consultant.
  • The fare is only valid for outbound travel on the day of the treatment or procedure and travel is not permitted before 08:45 hrs unless, at Red Funnel’s discretion, the appointment time requires the patient to travel earlier.
  • The fare normally applies to Day Return journeys for outpatient treatment but may be extended (for example for in-patient treatment) if the patient can prove that an overnight stay is required.
  • To claim the rate you must present your appointment letter/card from the hospital along with proof of your address that matches the appointment card. Proof of address could be either driving license, passport, household or council tax bill.
  • Please note the following are excluded from the scheme: 
    • Patients attending for treatment privately 
    • Patients attending treatment at a private hospital, 
    • Patients attending appointments with GPs, pharmacists, NHS dentists or opticians
    • Patients in receipt of benefits which would entitle them to claim under the Hospital Travel Costs scheme
    • Retrospective claims

For bus and onward travel information from Southampton T2 click here.

For bus and onward travel information from West Cowes (Isle of Wight) click here.

Request for car travel

If you need to travel for hospital appointments with your car, we offer a 50% discount on standard vehicle rates for your journey, or your crossing price will be capped to a maximum of £30 each way, whichever is of lesser cost to you. 

To request a car booking, please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible. Noting to submit your request, in a timely manner before the appointment to allow for processing. Requests made 1 or 2 days beforehand are not guaranteed. Retrospective claims are excluded.

Submitting supporting documentation
This could be in the form of a photo or scanned copy, or an email, containing the NHS logo and information pertaining to the hospital or clinic undertaking the treatment and the date of appointment, with the name of the person attending the appointment clearly shown. Please cover any information you may not wish to share. 

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory. 

Please reach out to [email protected] if you are having difficulty completing or submitting your form. 

Stay in Vehicle crossings

If you need to remain in your vehicle during your sailing, please see support available for Vulnerable Passengers & NHS Patients

Passenger Assistance & Accessibility

Review our step-by-step guide to making a booking and getting on board.