IW NHS told to prepare option to cut all hospital services except A&E and Maternity

Isle of Wight Labour say that IW health bosses have been instructed to prepare an option to cut services at St Mary’s Hospital to no more than Accident & Emergency and maternity care, with all other provision being shipped to the mainland.

St mary's hospital

Under direction from NHS England, Island Labour say that Isle of Wight health bosses have been instructed to prepare an option to cut services at St Mary’s Hospital to no more than Accident & Emergency and maternity care, with all other provision being shipped to the mainland.

One of several options
Isle of Wight Labour’s Parliamentary spokesperson, Julian Critchley, told OnTheWight the news was revealed at a meeting this week and that it was one of several options the Isle of Wight NHS have been asked to prepare.

The move is part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which proposes to integrate services across the Isle of Wight and Hampshire, with Islanders having to travel to the mainland for many health services. The Plans sets how Hampshire and the Isle of Wight health bosses are actively forming an alliance to work together in the future to rationalise health provision across the area.

Labour: Would “put Islanders’ lives at risk”
Mr Critchley says such an option would put Islanders’ lives at risk, and Island Labour will fight it vigorously and relentlessly.

He said,

“All Islanders should be appalled to learn of plans to strip all but accident & emergency and maternity services from St Mary’s.

“This puts lives at risk, as well as forcing sick and vulnerable people to travel to the mainland away from their families. It’s disgraceful it’s even being considered.”

OnTheWight have been in touch with Isle of Wight NHS and will update once we hear back.

NHS ‘Day of Action’
The news of the possible cuts to services was revealed in the Isle of Wight Labour Party’s latest release about an NHS Day of Action they plan to hold on Saturday 3rd February.

The action is timed to coincide with an Emergency Demonstration in London called by Health Campaigns Together and the People’s Assembly.

Julian says the event will highlight the serious threat to the Island’s health services posed by the government’s continuing austerity-driven cuts to public services.

He goes on to say,

“The Tory government has deliberately created an existential crisis in the NHS nationally, through years of serious under-funding. The health service is creaking at the seams, and the only action Jeremy Hunt offers is to fiddle with his acronyms.

“We need to be under no illusions: the Tories intend to strip the NHS to the bone, and privatise our healthcare. Contracts are already being drafted for Accountable Care Systems that will become Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs); transforming the NHS step by step towards becoming a USA-style, privatised, insurance-based health care system – all without the public or Parliament being properly consulted.

“The NHS Day of Action on 3 Feb will help Isle of Wight people become more aware of the crisis facing the NHS, what’s causing it, and how they can unite behind Labour to call this government to account and support our NHS to remain a strong and effective public service, free to all at the point of need.”

NHS: No decisions have been made
A spokesperson for the NHS told OnTheWight,

Steve Parker, Clinical Lead for the Acute Service Redesign programme, said

“Through our Acute Service Redesign work, clinical experts are currently reviewing several different options to ensure hospital based services provide safe, good quality and affordable care for people now and in the future. We are absolutely committed to the continued improvement of the Island’s hospital services and making sure Islanders can achieve health outcomes that are equal to any that might be experienced by NHS patients across the country. In some acute services, treating our most seriously ill patients, where we are finding it difficult to maintain acceptable standards and staffing levels, this will include assessing whether it will be safe to continue providing those services on the Isle of Wight in the future. However, as a point of principle, we remain committed to retaining as much of our clinical activity here on Island as possible to minimise travel for Islanders.

“The Clinical Commissioning Group will be reviewing the work to date at its meeting in public on 1st February. No decisions have been made and there remains a significant amount of work to do over the course of this year to explore this further and we will continue to engage with and involve the public during this process.”

Article edit:
Comment from NHS added

Image: © Used with the kind permission of Auntie P

Tuesday, 16th January, 2018 5:40pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2fXx

Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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15 Comments on "IW NHS told to prepare option to cut all hospital services except A&E and Maternity"

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Fred Karno
Although this report will no doubt alarm and frighten many people; I think it should be taken into account and tempered with the fact that Mr Critchley is just a parish councillor, one of 3 parish (town) councillors for Ryde North West Ward. Some years ago, readers will recall that it was being bandied about that the Island’s A&E was being relocated to the mainland. The population… Read more »
Robert Jones
Fred K, with shocking complacency like yours, the NHS on the island will disappear in a matter of years, leaving us with a rump service at best. What on earth does it matter whether Critchley is a parish councillor or something more elevated? The point is, surely to God, whether this doomsday scenario is among those being considered by the CCG. If it is, then I suggest… Read more »
A good number of patients entering A&E will be admitted to wards; surgical, medical, orthopaedic etc. Perhaps 40 in a 24 hours? So logistically you’d be transporting each of these patient’s on the ferry, by ambulance each time? Perhaps we could have some sort of ‘holding’ ward and ship a few at a time? Even then, logistically very improbable. Will never happen in my opinion.
Fred Karno
Robert, with the best will in the world, I think the IOW already has something of a rump service anyway, with lots of procedures requiring patients to go to the mainland, either to Portsmouth or Southampton in particular. I had an excellent experience at the QA when I had a coronary artery stent fitted a while ago. No way that could be done on the Island. Like… Read more »

Well the IW NHS has already denied this story on another news site.
We’ll know which side is telling the truth soon enough. Personally I think Labour’s claim seems at best far-fetched and at worst scaremongering of an irresponsiby opportunistic kind.


Read their statement again. Sometimes, it’s what people don’t say which is most telling. They do not deny that the option of massive cuts to St Mary’s is one of those being considered.


Talking of what people don’t say, you mention several options are being considered (some, I suspect, more assiduously than others) but choose only to hone in on one of those.
Concentrating only on the apparent Doomsday scenario may suit your political interest but I am not sure it conveys the full picture. As I say, we will see soon enough…

In my view, and the view of not just the Isle of Wight Labour Party but many of other political persuasions involved in the IoW Save Our NHS campaign, it is absolutely imperative to ensure that people are wake to what is happening. It may well be that the CCG would prefer to reduce services by ‘just’ 10% or ‘only’ 20%, rather than the >50% cut proposed… Read more »

Whether you have served a purpose by highlighting a Doomsday scenario in isolation while ignoring the other options remains to be seen.
If, heaven forbid, that is what transpires then history will prove you justified. If not, then it will be harder to discern any benefit from your dramatic release.

Robert Jones
I know that the NHS on the island can’t do all that a larger trust would be able to do – but the term ‘rump service’ isn’t, even now, accurate. Eg, it has a problem with haematology, cannot provide some cancer treatments. This trend would be likely to continue almost irrespective of financial cuts, because the NHS is becoming increasingly centralized in order to provide ‘centres of… Read more »

You think that do you Fred K? Really look at what Mr Parker has said in that quote. He is wrapping his words up to actually say we’re going to move services off island by getting you used to the idea that it’s not safe to have them here anymore. They want to offer us the best care…but it won’t be here.

Maybe worth noting, Fred, that our MP Bob Seely was also just a councillor until recently and for a remote rural ward called Central Wight. Unfortunately, the Isle of Wight voted for him last year so we now have a Tory Council and a Tory MP, so expect more austerity and more cuts to public services this year. (IWC budget coming soon with £8 million of cuts).… Read more »

Surely, if any of this is true, it is an ideal opportunity to press for the fast building of the bridge.
Contract it to the Chinese and they would have it up and over in eighteen months.
Then half an hour to Soton General and 29 mins to QA.

Robert Jones
Where to start ….. ‘contract it to the Chinese’ … were that a good idea in itself, who is going to do, i.e. pay for, the contracting? It isn’t any kind of “opportunity”, other than to find out how many of these options are actually likely to happen, which does rather depend on the CCG actually levelling with us for once, and then fighting against those which… Read more »

Thank you Sir Humphrey.