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Hospital Pond
Trust endorses recommendations of Local Care Board for hospital based services and welcomes decision of Isle of Wight CCG
03 February 2018

The Board at Isle of Wight Trust has formally endorsed the recommendations of the Local Care Board for the future of acute hospital services on the Isle of Wight.   The Trust Board, meeting at St. Mary’s Hospital on 1st February, considered the paper discussed earlier in the day by Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Governing Body.

The paper presented a range of options for reconfiguring the island’s acute services, developed by the Acute Services Redesign programme, which are intended to ease the pressures faced by our health and care systems – an ageing population, the growing need for complex and specialist care, difficulties recruiting to key staff groups and retaining skills and expertise. The Trust Board endorsed Option 4, with the caveats agreed by the Local Care Board, and welcomed the decision of the CCG Governing Body to accept Option 4. This was the ‘preferred option’ in the previously circulated paper.   The Trust Board noted that there is much more work to be done before any preferred model can be considered fully deliverable. The Trust Board endorsed the view of the Island’s Local Care Board that:

  • Island residents should receive the same standards of care as anywhere else in the country;
  • Services should be delivered on-Island first wherever clinically appropriate;
  • Residents should only have to travel for services when it is essential to do so;
  • Services between hospitals, the community and social care being better connected; and
  • With a workforce that is grown, developed, trained and supported so that it can sustain services over the longer-term.

Option 4, endorsed by the Trust Board, sets out that:

  • About 89% of current acute hospital-based care should remain on the Island;
  • About 11% of more complex, urgent care should in future be transferred for specialist care to the mainland where the outcome of their treatment would provide better results;
  • Patients who currently travel to the mainland for routine care should, in future, be able to have that care delivered on the Island - resulting in fewer journeys for Island patients overall;
  • There would be no change in capacity at St Mary’s until actual changes in activity are put in place; and
  • Further work will be undertaken with mainland hospitals to support the Island to resolve its workforce challenges.

There was an acceptance that the issue of safety would be paramount when considering re-organising services and the Board agrees that no service changes will be made until clinicians are satisfied that the most robust processes are in place to support the safety of patients being transferred to, or retrieved from, the mainland. The Trust Board also recognised that travelling off the Island can, at times, be difficult, stressful, and costly for both patients and those who care for them. Keeping this burden to a minimum will be a central concern in the next phase of work when more detailed discussions about services begin to take place. Mr Steve Parker, interim medical director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust and clinical lead for the Acute Services Redesign (ASR) programme said: “The decision marks an important milestone, but is by no means the final step in this process.   It comes after a long period of consideration over the future of hospital services.   The work has been clinically-led, with staff, stakeholder and community involvement. The redesign of acute services is a key element of the Local Care Plan for the island but also must align with similar work that is underway that looks at community and mental health services, too.

“The collective aim is to ensure that nobody has to make difficult journeys for hospital care unless they absolutely have to, but at the same time we also must ensure that island residents can get the best, safest care when they need it.   To try to strike that balance, we want to see more routine care provided to a high quality on the island. But we also accept that, for patients with certain complex conditions, the best option, and the best outcomes, for them is to receive care from larger, more specialist teams than we have based on the island.” The work through the Local Care Board will continue at pace to support the development of more detailed proposals, while engaging with staff, community and patient groups in more depth over the next few months.

The paper is available as part of the 1st February Trust Board papers at http://www.iow.nhs.uk/about-us/our-trust-board/2018-board-papers.htm or can be downloaded below.

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