Christine shares this latest news from the IOW Save Our NHS Group. Ed
The initiative was designed to show public support for protecting our Island NHS which is currently in the process of being reconfigured in order to satisfy the cuts in funding being demanded by NHS England and the Government.
£52 million of savings over five years
Under the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) this amounts to required savings of £52 million over five years between 2016 and 2020 and although we are being told by the powers that be that our NHS service will be improved, we find it hard to believe in the face of such enormous cuts.
Many campaigners and dedicated health professionals across the Country who oppose such draconian measures choose to interpret STP as ‘Slash, Trash and Privatise’.
11% of acute services transferred to mainland
We now know that the option chosen for the Island is Option 4 which involves 11% of acute services being transferred to the mainland.
We understand that this will include such elective procedures as hip and knee replacements, which tend to affect the elderly more than other age groups, cancer treatments and neo-natal services.
Meet savings or face Option 5
The CCG (Clinical Care Commission) are currently working on Option 4 to fine tune it, after which it will be sent to NHS England for approval.
However, there remains the threat that if the required financial results are not achieved, we could be forced into Option 5 by NHS England which would leave us with just A&E and Maternity services on the Island.
This is not flippant scaremongering as it says as much in the Acute Services Redesign Document.
Although the CCG says that there has been ‘public consultation’ throughout the planning process this has been achieved through selective stakeholders groups such as the Patients Council, Age UK, etc which may not always reflect general public opinion or be in their interests.
We have also been promised ‘proper’ public consultation across the Island, but this has been postponed over and over again and is now scheduled for spring/summer 2019.
The question that arises is “What will there be to consult about by then?” or will it just be a public relations exercise with no direct input from ‘real’ members of the public on the Island
Funding cuts left, right and centre
In the meantime, the IOW Council in their recent budget have chosen to withdraw funding to reimburse ferry fares for ALL patients needing to travel to the mainland for health care so there is the real danger that many people will not be able to afford to travel for their health care.
The Daisy Bus which takes cancer patients to the QA hospital in Portsmouth for radiotherapy treatment had its funding by the NHS Trust came to an end last year and now limps along thanks to private donations and fund raising.
We are being told that our quality and standards of service will be equal those who live on the mainland, but it is difficult to believe that when at the same time a leading Consultant from the CCG reportedly said at one of the Age friendly forums last year that, “as Islanders we cannot always expect the get the best outcome and sometimes have to accept a lesser one because of that stretch of water”. He used a person suffering a serious heart attack as an example!
Protect the NHS
The photo event proved to be so popular and striking that many campaign groups across the Country are going to do the same in their areas as we continue to raise public awareness about the ongoing plans to dismantle our NHS and hand it over to private companies and Corporations many of who are whom are known to prefer the Insurance base American Style health care system.
IOW Save our NHS will soon be coming out on to the streets of the Isle of Wight to spread the word amongst the public so do look out for us if you would like your photo to be taken!
See the IOW Save Our NHS Facebook Group to stay up-to-date.