Islanders invited to have their say at health events

A ‘Question Time’ style event at which members of the public, local politicians, and interest groups will be invited to quiz a panel of local experts will kick-start a programme of events to discuss how acute (hospital based) services could be provided in the future on the Island.

The events follow the recommendation by the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group earlier this year to explore an approach for acute hospital care that would see around 11 per cent of the most complex, specialist acute care procedures being potentially delivered by hospitals on the mainland in the next three-five years and with more routine procedures, some of which are currently being carried out in mainland hospitals, being returned to St Mary’s hospital

As work continues to develop this outline approach further, Island residents are being invited to come and talk to clinicians and other experts about why this change is needed, how this might work and to share their views ahead of a more formal public consultation in 2019.

The question and answer session, with a panel of clinicians and other experts will open out this debate further. The event will be hosted jointly by the Isle of Wight County Press and Isle of Wight Radio at Cowes Enterprise College on 11th June 2018, starting at 6.00pm and running until 8pm. Whilst the event is free to attend we are asking people to register for tickets so that we can ensure we have sufficient capacity. Tickets are available on a first come first served basis and are limited to two per person and these are available from Isle of Wight Radio’s reception 8-10 Dodnor Park, Newport, PO30 5XE or the Isle of Wight County Press’ reception at 123 Pyle Street, Newport PO30 1ST during weekday working hours.

Gillian Baker, Director of Strategy & Partnerships for the IW Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We know issues of healthcare, and particularly the role to be played by St Mary’s Hospital, are of great concern to our local community. We are looking forward to a full and frank debate with people who are as passionate about the NHS as we are.

“The local media have an important role to play as the eyes and ears of local people and we are very pleased that the County Press and IW Radio have agreed to come and act as impartial and objective hosts at a discussion on a topic that is of considerable local interest.”

Those not wishing to attend in person on the night can also follow the debate which will be broadcast live on-air on IW Radio and both the Isle of Wight County Press and IW Radio will take questions via social media on the night. Or you can email your questions in advance in writing to ​ and

Gillian added: “With demand for health and care increasing as the Island’s elderly population grows in number, often living with more complex, longer-term health needs, local services are struggling to provide access to the quality of care across all services that Islanders should expect to receive. Added to this, the well-documented challenges around recruitment and constrained budgets mean that a different approach is needed if services are to be sustainable for Island residents into the future.”

The panel session will also be followed by a series of FREE public events across the Island during June where people can simply drop in to the following locations at any point during the published times to share their views with clinicians and other experts:

  • Tuesday 19 June, 4pm-7pm, The Heights (Café area), The Broadway, Sandown PO36 9ET
  • Tuesday 26th June, 4pm-7pm, West Wight Sports & Community Centre (Café area) Moa Place, Freshwater, PO40 9XH
  • Wednesday 27th June, 4pm-7pm, Ryde Library, George Street, Ryde, PO33 2JE
  • Thursday 28th June 10.30am-1.30pm, Riverside Centre, Hunnyhill room, The Quay, Newport PO30 2QR

Steve Parker, Clinical lead for the Acute Service Redesign said: “We hope this series of events will provide a useful forum for people to engage with us and have a full and proper discussion about why these changes are needed and how the current proposals might work.

“It’s important for people to realise that no decisions have been made yet, these are still only proposals and we are listening and welcome people’s thoughts and views to help us shape our thinking further.”