Letter: Alarm at Conservative MP defending redesign of Isle of Wight health service

Isle of Wight Green Party leader says the Island MP is someone who will defend the government’s policies rather than fiercely argue the needs of vulnerable Islanders against “deeply harmful initiatives”.

hospital bed

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Isle of Wight Green Party leader, Vix Lowthion. Ed

I viewed with some alarm the recent vlog by our MP Bob Seely (see below), defending the cuts in hospital provision in our one hospital on the Isle of Wight.

Bob claims that ‘health experts’ have identified that Option 4 of the Acute Services Redesign (read in full below) will improve healthcare on the Island, with 500 fewer trips to the mainland every year.

I welcome the greater use of technology to reduce unnecessary transport for routine appointments, and am pleased to see our Solent Hospitals working in an alliance to increase access to specialists.

Reduction in services of 50% in some of departments
However I question whether Mr Seely’s full support for a reduction in services of 50% in some of our hospital’s departments is in the best interests of our Island community.

There is absolutely no guarantee that this redesign will reduce necessary travel for Islanders. The report he refers to very clearly indicates that 4,779 extra journeys will be needed to be taken each year.

Click on image to see larger version
Option 4 - the details

The figure only comes down when hoped for ‘repatriation opportunities’ are taken into account (5,297). These ‘opportunities’ will not come from the NHS – the plan is for elective surgery to be delivered by new private healthcare providers on the Island, funded by NHS funds.

Marketisation and privatisation of NHS
Bob Seely fully supports the Services redesign because it will open up the Island to further marketisation and privatisation of our NHS.

It has been the Conservative government’s plan for years to reduce our NHS to little more than a label for private companies.

Conservative MP will defend government’s policies
I have spoken up with these concerns before. By electing a Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, we have chosen someone who is foremost here to impose and defend the government’s policies – not to fiercely argue the needs of vulnerable Islanders against these deeply harmful initiatives.

I urge every Islander to read the document themselves, and vocalise their concerns very loudly before the final decision is made by NHS England within the next six months.

Vix Lowthion, IW Green Party

Image: leecullivan under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 12th February, 2018 4:01pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2g2c

Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

14 Comments on "Letter: Alarm at Conservative MP defending redesign of Isle of Wight health service"

newest oldest most voted
Email updates?
For all of you who have rosy views of private health care, the reality of truly privatised health care is alarming. Private health companies routinely reject treatment and medicine, where the standard becomes that you have to appeal. This is already happening with VirginCare here in the NHS, where people are being told that they can’t have the operation because VirginCare won’t authorise it. You think the… Read more »
What is happening is deeply worrying. More privatisation and cuts wrapped up as improvements. We need MPs that defend Island services, not those who helps push through cuts and support a policy of complete privatisation. The gap to between rich and poor grows wider aided by a far right faction within the conservative party that seems to have complete control. I cannot believe that conservative voters really… Read more »

The Greens have got a point.

The precursor to these proposals was the HIOW Health & care System STP of October 2016 which clearly states:-“While these changes will mean fewer and shorter journeys for most, we recognise that some, particularly those on the Isle of Wight, may need to travel further for care than today”.

Robert Jones
It’s perfectly obvious that some treatments can’t be offered on the island, and that people will have to travel to benefit from them. This is not new in any way – I had to go to Southampton for a detached retina operation around ten years ago, and understand in fact that this operation could now be done on the island: so it hasn’t been all one way.… Read more »

Bob Seely seems to have an interest in defence matters and not much concern for the Island or it’s population, he spoke recently in parliamentary debate and rather than representing the Island spoke like the hawk he is.


Electrickery…. You are wrong! Private healthcare is provided on Mottistone ward for people that can afford insurance with private healthcare companies, and for people who can afford to go private. The provision of “pay for” services will fill the void created by the strangulation of the NHS by the Tories.


I rest my case: this healthcare is provided *by the NHS* for extra money, but using resources only available because they are being shared with the *real* NHS. If St Mary’s weren’t there, Mottistone could not exist in isolation.


Private healthcare providers are NOT going to operate on the Island – there is not a big enough population. Even residential care providers are giving up – and that’s the biggest sector by far! So we are going to end up with exactly what this government wants: a smaller, cheaper NHS.


The Island’s Dermatology Service has been outsourced for over 5 years. First by Virgin Care and now by Lighthouse Medical Limited.


Marie Stopes also perform fertility based medicine for the NHS (including vasectomy, ouch!)
They are a private firm as well I believe!
Very good too, I would prefer a well versed private company to provide care in specific areas of expertise.


Granted, but these are not-for-profits or charities and thus not a threat to the ethos of the NHS.

Neither Virgin Care or Lighthouse Medical Limited are charities or not-for-profits. Lighthouse is at least a local company but it is privately owned and it’s last published accounted listed shareholder funds of £434k I don’t know if any other part of the IW NHS is outsourced because such information is not widely publicised. I did post relevant links relating to the above, but they are still stuck… Read more »

Ok, so upon reading a bit more Lighthouse do at least ‘donate a proportion to our sponsored charity’ which is the ‘Lighthouse Educational Foundation’. What they donate is of course, up to them. They are still a for-profit company with shareholders so some murkiness remains.


25 dislikes in a very short time just for stating facts, not even offering an opinion? As per previous mass thumbs down: seems legit.

Such a shame they seem unable to type and form coherent sentences in order to give a rational explanation as to why they dislike such posts.