At Monday night’s Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting for Adult Social Care and Health, the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group came in for damning criticism.
Members of the committee felt the CCG is not doing enough to ensure that Island residents can access the services they needed, involve people in developing how these services should be provided or keeping them informed about changes.
So damning that members recommended a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the CCG.
Pledge to improve
Today, Wednesday, the CCG say they have acknowledged there is a “task ahead to improve the way that local health services work, and that it cannot succeed alone – more must be done to reach out to patients, local people, and partner organisations, and to learn from them”.
It goes on to say it will work with all NHS organisations and the local authority to deliver a health and care system to meet the needs of Island residents.
Maggie MacIsaac, who has been the CCG’s accountable officer in the interim since April, said:
“The NHS on the Isle of Wight faces a series of huge challenges – recruiting and retaining skilled staff, driving up the quality of care for patients, changing the way that services work so that they can meet the growing demands of an ageing population, and doing all of that within the tough financial situation we face at the moment.
“Staff at the CCG are working hard to meet those challenges, and there is much for them to be proud of. We are also absolutely committed to building those strong partnerships with service providers, GP practices, social care and voluntary groups, which are essential if we are to give people on the Island the care and support they need.
“It is clear that there are genuine and justified criticisms that we have not always done enough, quickly enough, to involve people in determining how the care they need should be provided. We need to do more to communicate, and to engage with people – we must recognise this, and work to ensure that people feel that we are an open, listening organisation which actively seeks out feedback and acts upon what we hear.”
Baker-Smith: NHS can’t be fixed on a shoe string
Labour councillor for Osborne and Whippingham, Cllr Julia Baker-Smith, told OnTheWight,
“I fully support this decision by the health scrutiny committee. It is vital that the CCG are held to account, but also that action is taken for Government to recognise that services need to be properly funded.
“The impact of Conservative government cuts on the Island’s NHS and social care services, the slow dismantling and privatisation needs to be reversed if the situation is to improve. The Island struggles to attract professionals to work in health and social care, and only proper funding and competitive wages in line with the mainland can do that. The NHS can’t be fixed on a shoe string.”
Brodie: “CCG presents as an arrogant organisation”
Independent Labour councillor, Geoff Brodie, said,
“I have been a long time critic of both the CCG and the St Mary’s Trust and this vote of no confidence in the CCG should have come some time ago, perhaps when Cllr Baker-Smith was in the IW Independent administration.
“The CCG presents as an arrogant organisation that is not interested in the views of ordinary Islanders.
“Just look at how they are handling the review of acute services being transferred to the mainland; trying to wear down opposition through a long-winded process. I applaud my colleagues on the health scrutiny committee for at last putting their dissatisfaction on the record.”
Lilley: CCG “have been in denial”
Independent Green councillor, Cllr Michael Lilley, told OnTheWight,
“I have been a member of Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care and Health since May 2017 and every meeting the IW CCG has not taken responsibility alongside the IW NHS Trust for failing services. They have been in denial.
“There is clear evidenced of flawed commissioning and if the commisssioning is poor then the service is bound to be poor.
“All the committee members had lost faith and trust in anything the CCG said. I asked the CCG that they should at least apologise to Island residents who deserved better.”
NHS England monitoring progress
David Radbourne, NHS England Director of Commissioning Operations said:
“The CCG has recently joined forces with the other members of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight CCG Partnership, and we believe that was the right thing to do in order to enhance the leadership team, strengthen the commissioning function and create closer joint working with local government.
“We exercised our formal powers of direction with the CCG last year to accelerate improvement and have been closely monitoring their progress, meeting regularly with them and the hospital trust, and we will be stepping up our work to help them improve. We are encouraged that the CCG has made a commitment to ensure services continue to thrive on the island taking the necessary steps to improve public engagement, financial control, and governance structures and we will actively support them in that.
“This includes a £400,000 allocation from the national NHS England GP retention fund. This will allow practical support to the health and care workforce allowing the Island to develop and strengthen new ways of working and new models of care, and in so doing attract and retain the local primary care workforce.”
Working through a series of changes
The CCG say it recognises it hasn’t always had access to all of the skills and experience it needs.
It goes on to say it’s now working through a series of changes “designed to address this so that it can strengthen the way that it monitors the performance of NHS services on the Island, increase the involvement of both clinicians and Island residents in decision-making, and tighten financial control”.
Recognised what needs to be done
Maggie MacIsaac said,
“I think we have already recognised a lot of what needs to be done.
“But we also know that the ultimate test is whether local patients on the Island are getting the care they need – we can and will do more to achieve that, and to involve all of our partners and Island residents in that effort.”
8.50am 19.7.2018 – Comments from GB and ML added