The Isle of Wight is to feature in a new government trial looking at the use of drones as a way of transporting medical supplies.
The testing forms part of the government’s plans to trial new transport innovation in three new ‘future transport zones’ – one of which is Portsmouth and Southampton.
It is thought that the use of drones between the Isle of Wight and the mainland will help speed up diagnoses by cutting out time spent journeying on ferries and roads. Once trials are complete, the drones could eventually be used to transport chemotherapy kits.
MP Bob Seely said: “This is great news for the Island. It’s a chance to transform the way we transport medical supplies to and from the Island.
“As an Island, we rely, in part, on mainland hospitals for specialist treatment. We need to think about the way we use technology in the future to reduce patient travel and ensure more treatment is available closer to home.
“The fact that the Isle of Wight is specifically mentioned in the government’s plans shows that the government has taken into account that the Island is unique in its health geography, as recognised by the Health Secretary last year.
“We have already secured £48 million from the government for improvements in Island healthcare, some of which will be invested into technology that will improve patient care, reduce waiting times and make better use of NHS staff time. This is all a step in the right direction to the Island receiving a better deal from the government.
“I look forward to hearing about how the testing goes.”