Health visitors in Ventnor who usually walk to their appointments in the town are soon going to have to drive over seven miles from Sandown to see their clients.
Under current plans, from August the Ventnor Area Health Visitors Team will be moved from their base at Salisbury Gardens in Ventnor, to Sandown Barracks.
The reason for the move?
A £4,500 cut in the Isle of Wight council’s budget.
VTC “Unclear logic”
The move was discussed at the Ventnor Town Council (VTC) earlier this week where it was explained that four health visitors have been based locally since 2014 and provide a vital service to children aged up to five-years-old.
The VTC say,
“The logic of the move isn’t clear given the costs of the additional travelling the team will then need to do to cover their Ventnor area caseloads and the additional time requirement of those journeys.”
It was also pointed out at the meeting by Cllr Mack that the health visitors also serves areas to the further to West.
VTC: “Worrying for town’s families with children”
The VTC say the loss of the locally delivered and accessible service is particularly worrying for the town’s families with children.
Upper Ventnor has 298 children aged 0-15 and Ventnor town has 234; both areas are in the poorest 20% nationally and Upper Ventnor ranks in the most deprived 10% nationally on the Income deprivation affecting children scale in the national Index of Deprivation 2015 .
It was agreed at the VTC meeting that they would write to the IWC expressing their concerns about the proposed move.
Blackmore: Engendered strong local feeling
Ventnor Mayor, Cllr Stewart Blackmore, told OnTheWight,
“The Ventnor Community has shown in the past how strongly it feels when local services suffer and the threat to relocate the health visitors in a so-called money saving exercise has again engendered strong local feeling.
“Again there has been no consultation and residents are beginning to wonder what their elected representatives are doing at County Hall to support their precious services. There is not much evidence that they are being proactive rather than reactive.”
He went on to say,
“Another example of there inaction, so far as the community is concerned, is the long running fiasco of the scaffolding in Madeira Road at the junction with Trinity Road and the High Street, which remains unresolved after two years of complaints.”
OnTheWight has asked the IWC whether the additional time and cost of travel have been factored into the planned cuts.
The IWC bumped the question to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, who avoided answering the question but instead replied,
A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“Moving health visitors a short distance into a building where they will be based with the rest of their team will be better for that team and for their patients.
“People in Ventnor will not see any change in the service that they receive.”
If you’ve heard of similar happening in your area let us know.
12.12 14th June – Comment from NHS and Mayor Blackmore added