Late on Sunday night, the Government announced £48m for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, to help with the ‘redesign of acute services’.
Local politicians share their responses to the news, which has been welcomed by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust. Shared below in the order they were received.
Seely: “Delighted at this investment”
Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, said,
“On Monday the Government is announcing £48 million investment for the NHS on the Isle of Wight. I am delighted at this investment.
“Thank you to Maggie Oldham, Vaughan Thomas and the NHS’s leadership team on the Island. This is a major boost for the NHS on the Isle of Wight. I want to thank the NHS staff on the Island for the work that they do.
“When I became the Island’s MP, I said I would make sure that Government listened to us more. I am delighted that it is beginning to do so. There is more to be done but this is more good news for the Island.”
Lowthion: “Hope it isn’t an announcement we live to regret”
Vix Lowthion, the IW Green Party spokesperson, told OnTheWight,
“Extra funding for Island services should always be welcome news. Islanders deserve the best quality health and social care, and in many areas we are pioneers in integration and community led services.
“However, it’s important to note that this money has been ring fenced for the ‘Acute Services Redesign’.
“Announced last year, those proposals for St Mary’s involved 11% cuts, closure of ENT and paediatrics and general surgery services, and islanders forced to travel to the mainland for essential treatment.
“I doubt that this £48million will pay for a new ‘hospital ferry’ to allow Islanders to access services they currently receive on the Island.
“We must have clarity from the NHS Trust about what new ‘buildings and IT facilities’ will mean for Island patients accessing care in the future, and what their plans are to revisit the Acute Services Redesign proposals previously publicised.
“We trust our brilliant NHS workers, but Islanders are justified in being suspicious about what lies behind announcements by Boris Johnson!”
Critchley: “Doesn’t address very serious funding shortfall“
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, told OnTheWight,
“Any extra money is welcome, and will surely offer some relief to the dedicated NHS staff who’ve been struggling with the effects of funding cuts.
“However, with a large existing deficit, this sum doesn’t begin to address the very serious funding shortfall which has seen the hospital placed in both financial special measures and care quality special measures over the last three years.
“There’s probably an election coming up, and the Tories are keen to announce eye-catching figures, in the hope that a big splash now will make people forget the last 9 years of austerity, cuts and slashing of public services.
“Islanders aren’t so easily fooled. They know what the Tories have done to our NHS on the island, and this attempt to cover up the cracks is simply too little, too late.”
Stuart: “Rewards to constituencies of Boris supporters?”
Leader of the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats, Nick Stuart, told OnTheWight,
“We welcome any additional investment in the NHS on the Island given the problems in A&E. Even if it is a political bung to influence voters to ignore the massive pain of a no-deal Brexit. But I wonder if the ones announced were accurate NHS priorities or simply rewards to constituencies of Boris supporters?
“I have very recent personal experience of a late night emergency admission where theatre staff are home on call rather than in hospital.
“The care was fantastic, but the delay was worrying.This seems a direct result of reduced emergency admissions on the Island and money pressures.
“So there are real concerns the cash will simply support the transfer of services to the mainland. Which the Liberal Democrats have repeatedly pointed out threatens lives on the Island.”
Hutchinson: Need for secure and sustainable funding base for adult social care
Councillor Stuart Hutchinson, the council’s deputy leader, said:
“We welcome this much-needed investment in our Island health service.
“It rightly recognises the extra demands we face as an Island and shows the government is committed to creating the right conditions to allow the trust to improve and deliver the best possible care for us and our loved ones.
“While we thank government for this extra funding in health, we would also remind ministers of the need for a secure and sustainable funding base for adult social care.
“Here on the Island, a far greater proportion of residents is elderly than is the case nationally — equally, we have increasing numbers of disabled adults, including people with mental health needs, who need support.
“The new Prime Minister has already indicated his support for a fairer funding settlement and we will continue to lobby the government to get additional funding to help meet the pressures of being an Island.”
Mosdell: Ensure modern facilities and state-of-the-art equipment
Councillor Clare Mosdell, Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said the investment was significant and would provide a catalyst for better health and care integration on the Island.
“This is fantastic news not only for our local NHS trust but for the Isle of Wight as a whole.
“This funding will ensure our hard-working nurses, doctors and other NHS staff have access to modern facilities and state-of-the-art equipment to help drive forward improvements in patient care we are all working as a system to achieve.
“Equally, I would like to see some of this additional funding used to support those Islanders who need to travel to the mainland for their health appointments and operations, including their carers when appropriate.
“We will continue to work with the trust as part of the Local Care Board and One Public Service programme to explore where this new money would have the greatest impact for the local community.”
Comments from Cllrs Hutchinson and Mosdell added
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