New accommodation for Isles of Scilly residents travelling for treatment after successful campaign

Treliske Hospital
Treliske Hospital in Truro is the nearest major treatment site for islanders.

Isles of Scilly residents who need to travel to the mainland for medical treatment will be able to stay in new accommodation near Treliske Hospital.

Charity The Island Haven has bought a five-bedroom property, just a few minutes walk from the hospital which is the nearest major treatment site for islanders.

The property will provide a space for islanders undergoing longer-term outpatient treatment, for loved ones accompanying patients during emergency treatment, and for patients discharged at times when travel home to the islands is impossible.

The Island Haven is run entirely by volunteers and has been fundraising for the site since 2019. It hopes to have the facility available by the end of 2024.

Currently islanders have to pay for accommodation when travelling to Cornwall for treatment, which can be made more difficult by tourism in the summer months.

The plans are for four affordable ensuite double bedrooms, a communal kitchen and shared social space, as well as a small garden and car parking.

Chair of The Island Haven, Tim Guthrie, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this major milestone in the charity’s history, a goal only achieved because of the tireless efforts of Scilly’s small albeit passionate community of islanders, local businesses and visitors.

“A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and Scilly’s small community of just 2,500 residents and around 100,000 annual visitors has meant we have had to adapt our original plans of a purpose-built facility.

“However, this pivot in our plans means The Island Haven is now truly on its feet, with a very real prospect that this vital facility will be available for those who need it before the end of this year.

“We really cannot emphasise enough our gratitude to the small but dedicated community of Scilly – islanders, visitors and businesses – who have made this a reality.

“We also wish to sincerely thank solicitors Alison Morden-Hawke and Nikki Jonas of Womble, Bond, Dickinson (UK) LLP and property surveyor Brian Hasell of Huntley & Partners for their professional services, enabling the purchase to proceed.”

The charity will now continue to fundraise to convert, update and equip the property and fund the ongoing running and maintenance costs.

It's currently working alongside the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to provide on-campus accommodation.