Island MP Bob Seely has praised IW NHS and care home staff in Parliament and highlighted the need for more financial support for IW NHS services – part of his ‘Island Deal’.
During a health debate, Bob highlighted the work undertaken by the IW NHS Trust throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. He said: “I thank NHS staff on the Isle of Wight for the remarkable work they have done, and I thank the leadership team under Maggie, Darren and Vaughan for the work they have done to reconfigure St Mary’s Hospital incredibly quickly.”
He went on to praise care home staff who he said had been extraordinarily diligent and highlighted the importance of frequent staff testing in care homes.
Continuing his campaign for an Island Deal, Bob raised points about the fragility of health services in unavoidably small hospitals – of which St Mary’s is one – and the significant additional pressures they face.
He said: “We put the additional extra costs of running an unavoidably small hospital on an island at about £12 million a year. The NHS long-term plan sets out a 10-year strategy and it says it is unable to find evidence of specific unavoidable costs, but I beg to differ. I think we have evidence of what those unavoidable costs are, both generally in terms of unavoidably small hospitals, but also specifically in the case of the Isle of Wight.
“We have specifically listed and itemised those additional expenditures when compared to a hospital that has a more average size population. As the Minister knows, St Mary’s is about half that of a normal district general hospital.”
Speaking after the debate Bob said: “I want to ensure that our NHS workers here receive all the support they need, not only to continue their excellent work, but also to be pioneers. I will continue to push the Government on additional support for our IW NHS services.”