This from Nick Stuart, Chair, Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats. Ed
As Party Leader on the Island during the Covid-19 pandemic I’ve been reluctant to criticise others. I know personally from my Civil Service days how in a crisis it is difficult to take decisions and manage unexpected issues.
However I’m keen to put forward positive possibilities. It was great that the Isle of Wight got a name check on Radio 4 (WATO 34.14). Especially where it involves way of emerging from the Covid pandemic.
Professor Allyson Pollack talked about contact tracing by teams to control this pandemic. She suggested the massive number of unused NHS volunteers could work with Councils and NHS to take on the detailed work of tracing contacts of people with Covid.
With recent award winning expertise in Public Health on the Island can we not pull together a task force and start this urgently?
Mobile testing unit
Given there is a suggestion for mobile testing unit on the Island could this not link with contact tracing teams to get rid of the virus from the Island?
I’m sure a lot of our tourist industry would welcome such a possibility especially if we could keep it from the Island.
The Council, NHS and Social Care providers need to look at this possibility with some urgency.
Showcase for best practice
A first mover approach could showcase the Island as best practice for control and later for vaccine and antibody testing.
With experience in the Department for Trade Bioscience Unit, and in Science and Innovation development, I can see how the Island could attract organisations and industry in the wake of this pandemic.
Perhaps the Solent Universities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth might recall the unique characteristics of the Island and the opportunities that can offer.