We are working to ensure that children on the Isle of Wight are supported to get the best start in life that will lead to good health and wellbeing. This will provide the foundation to ensure they are able to achieve the best opportunities and keep as healthy and well as possible throughout their lives.
We want to ensure that families, individuals and communities are thriving and resilient with access to good jobs, affordable housing, leisure activities, lifelong training, education and learning, health and care services are are able to enjoy the place in which they live.
We want to ensure that people on the Isle of Wight are able to live independently in their own homes with appropriate care support. We want to make sure older residents are supported to play an active role in their communities and supported to maintain and develop their social and community networks.
On the Isle of Wight, we have much to be positive about our way of life and the opportunities it gives us to live our lives to the full. However, we also have a range of growing problems we cannot ignore:
Demand for health and care is increasing – we’re all living longer, which is something to celebrate. But this is also increasing demand on health and care services. Proportionally, we have a much larger older population (27.1% aged 65 years and older) compared with the rest of England and while the general population is only growing by 0.26% per year, the proportion of older people will increase to around 30% by 2025 with the biggest rises amongst the very elderly, so we face a bigger challenge than most other areas.
Patient needs are increasingly complex – More people, around 45,000 on the Island, are now living for longer with one or more long-term conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and dementia and this too is expected to increase, adding pressure on services.
A workforce that needs to develop and change – Our health and care service is dependent on the caring and committed people that work within it. We struggle to recruit staff and we are operating some specialist services with only one consultant, which can cause problems in maintaining standards or when that person falls ill or needs time off work. Due to our population size and profile, there is lower demand for some types of specialist procedures making it hard for our staff to maintain their skills due to the infrequency of carrying out certain types of surgical procedures and treatment. We need to make sure we have acccess to people skilled in delivering the services we need in the future and that they can maintain and utilise their full range of skills within our healthcare system.
The system isn’t coping and we need to improve quality of care – In some services, the quality of care provided is also falling short of what it should be, especially when compared to other similar areas. Access to some Isle of Wight services is also poor in relation to national benchmarks with nearly half of patients (48%) wanting planned treatment choosing to travel off the Island where they can have their operations/treatment more quickly. Without change, some people on the Isle of Wight will not get access to the level and quality of care they need at the time they need it.
We cannot afford to keep providing what we do currently - The costs of providing some services here are higher than providing them on the mainland. This is because we have a small population but, we as we are an island, we need to provide a wider range of services to ensure people's safety. We need to find ways of operating services more efficiently so that we can afford to continue to provide them in the future.
So, we need to do things very differently to change the way health and care services are delivered, to ensure we can meet these challenges and provide safe, sustainable services into the future.
The NHS is turning 70 on 5 July 2018. The following activities and events are taking place on the Island to celebrate this important milestone: