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An island charity is hoping as many other charity representatives as possible will turn up to give their views on off island patient transfers at a special meeting next month.

Bridge the Gap, which supports children and teenagers with chronic and life-threatening ailments, has researched their experiences of patient transfer to the UK.

The charity now wants to hear the views of other members of the Council of Voluntary Organisations, which is running the meeting.

Fiona Barker, of Bridge the Gap, said the support available for children was good but when they reached the transition stage at 16 - when they were neither children nor adults - more was needed.

The group is currently working to try and establish a youth worker based part time at Noble’s Hospital to support young patients.

Fiona said: ‘At the moment we have questionnaires on the website for parents, patients and carers, asking about people’s experiences of patient transfer. The interesting thing is that most of the things people tell us are fairly easily rectifiable.’

Some of the points raised, she said affected all people. For example the desire was expressed for a separate seating area in the airport for people who are feeling very unwell.

‘The airport is full of people going on holiday and there is really no private area for patients,’ she said.

Another point raised was whether a fast track option could be offered to get patients through the airport security process.

‘The support we have had so far has been fantastic,’ she said.

Bridge the Gap is hoping to put all the information into a presentation which will be made to the Travelwatch group when they hold a meeting in October at the Villa Marina.

The meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 21, at Marsham Court, Victoria Avenue, Douglas. It opens at 5.30pm with coffee before the meeting proper gets under way at 6pm.

Anyone who is not a CVO member can make their views known to email contact@bridgethegap.im

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