Our Healthcare System
The population of the Isle of Wight is served by a healthcare system that operates principally on the Island. Whilst some aspects of specialist, acute care are provided off the Island, the primary care, acute, mental health, community care, social care and emergency care needs are all met by providers who are all co-located on the Island.
Primary care services on the Isle of Wight, in other words those provided by General Practitioners (GPs) and other primary care professionals to help manage and treat common illnesses and long-term conditions, are provided by 16 practices and 77 GPs operating across the Island. Practices vary in size as does the number of registered patients that each practice sees, ranging from between 3,500 – 15,500 patients. All practices have been given a ‘Good’ or above rating by the Care Quality Commission.
GPs care for the total population of around 140,000 people all of the time. During key seasonal periods, GPs will also provide temporary care to a large number of tourists visiting the Island.
Community services are delivered to patients at home, in local community hubs and at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight by a wide range of professionals and voluntary services. These include those provided by the hospital such as district nursing, health visiting, community nursing teams, a primary dental care service, orthotics, inpatient rehabilitation and community post-acute stroke wards. They work alongside others like Local Area Coordinators, Community Coordinators, Care Navigators, the Living Well Service, Pharmacists and others to help people manage their care and general wellbeing in or closer to their home.
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is the only integrated acute, community, mental health and ambulance care provider in England. Established in April 2012, the Trust provides a full range of health services both at its St Mary’s Hospital site in Newport and in the community across the Island.
St Mary’s has 246 beds and handles around 22, 685 admissions per year and is the main base for delivering acute services for the Island’s population. Services include A&E and the Urgent Care Service (by referral only), emergency medicine and surgery, planned surgery, intensive care, comprehensive maternity, NICU and paediatric services.
The Island’s ambulance service delivers all emergency and non-emergency ambulance transport for the Island’s population. With 21,712 emergency calls and 25,292 emergency vehicles dispatched each year, the service operates from a single base across the Island. The Trust also operates an integrated hub with teams who are co-located. This includes crisis response team, district nursing, social care, warden assisted housing alarm service, Age UK IW volunteers, pharmacy and others all working together to ensure that those needing urgent care have the right treatment, by the right person, at the right time, avoiding a large number of unnecessary hospital admissions. Mental Health services provide inpatient and community based mental health care. There are 50 beds and Community Mental Health Teams supporting a caseload of 1,300 patients. Services include Specialist CAMHS, Tier 3 Drug and Alcohol service, Early Intervention in Psychosis and Memory service and intensive outreach service for residential and nursing care homes.
Social Care services are provided in the main by the Isle of Wight Council, the Island’s unitary authority established in 1995. The council runs both adult’s and children’s social care services with access to expert practitioners across both services. The council introduced its new strategy Care Closer to Home in 2017, which is already seeing a 39 per cent reduction in the rate of permanent admissions to care homes for those aged 65 and over. There are also a number of independently run care providers on the Island providing care services for children and adults and many individual carers, both informal and formal, supporting people across the Island.
The Island’s health and care services are commissioned (planned and bought) by the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (IWCCG), with the exception of some areas of specialised commissioning which are covered by NHS England. The IWCCG Commissioners review the healthcare needs of the Island population and decide what services need to be purchase to meet these and, once purchased, they monitor the delivery of these checking quality, capacity and resources.
The Island’s Health and care services come together as a local care system under the Local Care Board. The Board has developed a Local Care Plan which prioritises those changes required to improve care across the Island, building on the Island’s shared vision for person-centred care, delivered closer to home. A copy of the plan can be found here