Islanders Speak Highly of Local Health Services
A survey of 1,241 Islanders in June and August 2008 has found that 63 per cent of Islanders would speak highly of their local NHS. This is 22 points up on the same survey conducted between January and March 2008 and well ahead of other areas in the south. Other key issues identified by the survey include:
- Amongst users of health services satisfaction with hospitals (81%), GPs (91%), dentists (85%) and pharmacists (97%) are all higher and better than the average for the South Central Strategic Health Authority area.
- The number of patients who have been offered choice by their GP of where to have their treatment has increased (up from 10 to 27 per cent).
- 90% of patients say they were referred to the hospital of their choice.
- 71% of Islanders say that the NHS should focus more on preventing people becoming ill than on further reducing waiting times but more people than before (23% in wave 2 compared to 8% in wave 1) say that shorter waiting times are a local priority.
- 42% of Islanders say they are prepared to travel off the Island for health services
- Apart from waiting times Islanders say that more money (down from 25% in wave 1 to 15% in wave 2) and improved access to dentists (down from 29% in wave 1 to 14% in wave 2) are the top priorities for the local NHS. Improved hospital cleanliness remains important at 12% but did not make it into the top three priorities for Islanders.
Margaret Pratt, Interim Chief Executive at Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust said:
“Knowing what both our patients and Islanders as a whole think about the NHS, both locally and nationally is important. It helps shape our services and how we communicate information about them. We have some of the highest ratings in the south for satisfaction with our services which is great news for patients, staff and the Island as a whole.
“Despite this generally high level of satisfaction we are not complacent. We are doing more to improve access to services by working with our key partners. GPs are extending their opening times and we are trying to get the balance right between locally provided services and those where for clinical or financial reasons Islanders have to travel to the mainland. This will always be a tension in our work but it is interesting to see that 42 per cent of Islanders say that they are prepared to travel for their treatment, principally for in-patient services.”
The survey was carried out by ICM Research (Government and Social) and commissioned by South Central Strategic Health Authority covering the nine Primary Care Trust areas in the South Central area. The results were presented to the Primary Care Trust Board meeting in December.
Notes for Editors
1. Media enquiries to the Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust Communications Team on 01983-534184 or 552003.
2. Copies of the survey results are available as a presentation - part of the 3rd December Board Meeting papers – from the PCT’s website at http://www.iow.nhs.uk/asp/iowpctboard/papers.asp?record=664&MeetingID=72 and select presentation from the agenda.
3. Further information about ICM can be found at http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/business-sector-social-government.html
Issue date: 10 December 2008
For further information, please contact the Communications Department, Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust, St Marys Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 5TG. Telephone number 01983-552003 (out of hours please contact the switchboard)