Patients and their carers or companions don’t receive enough help with accommodation when they are forced to travel off-island for treatment, Health Minister David Ashford has admitted.

He has pledged a review of the current contribution levels for patients who require overnight accommodation.

Regulations currently permit a contribution of only £28 per night maximum, for patients, their escorts, or visitors, although this increases to £41.50 in London.

Mr Ashford said a price review was ’long overdue’.

’That is why it is now being undertaken under my direction,’ he told the House of Keys on Tuesday.

’I did do a bit of research and, as far as I can see, there has been no increase in these allowances since the regulations came in, in 2004.’

He was responding to a question tabled by Rob Callister (Onchan).

The feedback he had received, he said, was that the staff in the island’s patient transfer service were highly rated by patients, but the financial support available was inadequate.

’Time and time again the people are saying that £28 for some sort of contribution for accommodation is just far too low,’ he said.

Mr Ashford agreed and said it more often affected visitors and those who accompanied a patient as, generally, anyone requiring treatment over a lengthy period of time was staying in a hospital.

Subsistence allowances for public officials and Tynwald members who have to travel away on business were increased recently to a maximum daily rate of £218 for inside London, which includes accommodation and meals. The maximum rate for outside London is £120.

Source: IoMToday