Healthwatch Isle of Wight response to government announcement of £48m to redesign acute services for Isle of Wight residents

We are delighted that the government has announced that the IOW NHS Trust will be receiving £48m to improve acute services. We know that Island residents value local services and want to be treated here on the Island.

Having to travel to the mainland for treatment has a significant impact on people’s physical, financial and emotional wellbeing. This is a wonderful opportunity for the NHS Trust to address some of the issues that affect people on a daily basis.

We have heard from many people that local mental health services are not fit for purpose. We would strongly urge the IOW NHS Trust to consider looking at how acute mental health services can be improved to ensure that people get support when they are in a crisis. This must be a priority. We have the highest admission rate in the country for mental health  and yet the lowest length of stay which indicates that people are not getting the right support when they need it.

Earlier this year, our Enter and View team visited all inpatient mental health wards and found significant concerns particularly on the dementia ward. As a result of this, Shackleton ward has been refurbished and there are plans to move the ward to a more appropriate area of the hospital so that patients will be able to access the garden. This must also be seen as an urgent priority. People with dementia can live well with the condition and there is evidence to show that people have a much better quality of life if they have the freedom to go outside and enjoy the fresh air, outside space and garden.

The first line of the NHS Constitution is: `The NHS belongs to the people.` We very much hope that when deciding how to spend the money, the Trust really listens to local people to find out what is important to them as this is the only way that the money will be well spent.

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