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26.01.18

Isle of Wight hospital tables controversial plans to move ‘seriously ill’ patients to mainland

The trust in charge of the Isle of Wight’s main hospital has put forward controversial plans which would see certain patients moved to the mainland in cases of serious illness.

St Mary’s Hospital in Newport is attempting to deal with a £23.6m funding gap expected to develop by 2022-23 by creating efficiencies in some services while ensuring the quality of care.

Local campaign group Save Our IOW NHS has criticised decisions to move services away from the island for the “inconvenience and cost” brought to patients.

Included in the plans is a proposal to commit to more joint working between Isle of Wight and mainland services, with officials claiming that 90% of hospital services retained on the island.

In addition, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, says there would be less patients travelling off-island for care, although more of the seriously ill patients will be at risk of being moved.

However, the Save Our IOW campaign claims any effect on the health of individuals and services themselves would be unknown, specifically criticising the role of STPs in the process.

Plan ‘in the best interest of patients’

Stephen Parker, interim medical director for the trust and clinical lead for the Acute Service Redesign programme, said there had been a “range of options” considered as part of proposals to reduce costs but that the plan his group had recommended was “in the best interests of patients.”

“Providing access to high quality and safe care for patients is our priority,” he said.

“Wherever possible, we should continue to give people the very best hospital based care on the island. Where outcomes for certain complex procedures are significantly better on the mainland, more of our seriously ill patients should be able to benefit from these services.

“But, overall this proposal will enable us to reduce the number of times people are asked to travel to the mainland, as more routine care and follow up appointments will take place on the island.”

The Isle of Wight Trust has previously been criticised by the CQC for the quality of its community mental health services, which did not have an effective system for prioritising patient’s needs.

The organisation later fell into special measures, along with three other trusts, after CQC inspectors criticised its “out of touch leadership” and said standards of care were too low.

Top image: Sterling750

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