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A wheelchair loan service operated by Red Cross in the Isle of Man is set to close by the end of the year, with the Government now searching for a new provider to take it over.

The decision to end the service comes following an announcement by the charity to close its Braddan base on the Isle of Man, with the organisation suggesting the loss of a Government commercial contract meant it was not viable to continue providing its wheelchair loan service.

In a statement, the Red Cross said: “The decision follows the loss of a significant patient transport contract in June 2018 when the opportunity to tender for a contract renewal was withdrawn and patient transport services on the island were awarded to Bus Vannin.”

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According to the Red Cross, the loss of the contract resulted in a significant drop in footfall to its Braddan premises, fuelling its decision to sell and close the service.

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said: “This was a valuable and well used island-wide service, and I’m sad to see it go.

“Urgent efforts are being made by the department to assist other third sector organisations interested and able to take over wheelchair loan service in some form.”

The charity had provided the transport for patients to hospital appointments in the Isle of Man for a decade, however, the David Ashford highlighted the charity’s tender was far over its budget.

Fiona MacLeod, Director for Red Cross Independent Living and Crisis Response on the Island, said: “We are always reluctant to reduce services and to close properties but we have an obligation to our donors to deliver our services as efficiently as possible and to spend our money wisely.

“We have been working very hard over the past year to secure new contracts within the health and social care field, which would have enabled us to cover our core costs and subsidise other services on the island. Sadly, we have so far been unsuccessful.

“We remain committed to the Isle of Man and are open to creative proposals from the statutory and private sectors.”

The announcement follows a recent spate of Red Cross closures relating to the provision of mobility aids over the past 12 months.

Any organisations interested in providing local wheelchair provision on the Isle of Man are advised to contact Finn Molloy at FMolloy@redcross.org.uk or call 07525902924 or Martin Birchenough  at MBirchenough@redcross.org.uk or 07624271575

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/generic-wheelchair-image.jpg?fit=1000%2C563&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/generic-wheelchair-image.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettGovernment & LegislationNewsroomThird SectorBraddan,charity,community equipment service,contract,Health and Social Care Minister,Isle of Man,loan service,Red CrossA wheelchair loan service operated by Red Cross in the Isle of Man is set to close by the end of the year, with the Government now searching for a new provider to take it over. The decision to end the service comes following an announcement by the charity to...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals