Sustainability and Transformation Plans are being developed across the country to integrate local health and social care services and identify better ways of working.
Local people tell us that they are aware of the huge pressure the health and social care sector is under at the moment and recognise that things need to change, but they want the changes to be made in partnership with local residents.
We are keeping up to date with health and social care developments on the Island and have raised an expectation that there should be more consultation and engagement with local people around the STP as this is the only way that services will find a joint solution to current system pressures.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight STP faces distinctive challenges as the Solent devolution bid, the three local vanguard sites and the Sustainability and Transformation plans will have to be seamlessly linked to avoid duplication and a waste of resources.
The Island is unique in the fact that we have a higher proportion of older people who live here. We are an Island and do not have easy access to neighboring health and social care providers and this is why we are particularly interested in plans to transform health and social care services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
We would hope that any plans for change, take account of travel, availability of public transport and public opinion and would reflect the unique challenges faced by Island residents when accessing services.
We published a report around cancer services in June this year and due to the base of some specialities and because of the location of certain treatment centres, sea travel is essential for many. A significant number of people with cancer who completed our survey detailed the struggles of travel when they were unwell and particularly vulnerable to fatigue, stress, infection and financial hardship. The impact of travel was therefore magnified, to become a genuinely grueling experience.
Several comments were received suggesting that some patients find the prospect of travel so off-putting that they do not seek treatment, or decline it when offered.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight would urge that people who have questions or concerns about changes get in touch so we can ensure their voice is heard.
To view the STP summary please click here
To view the STP delivery plan please click here