MP Bob Seely has been assured by the Government that it is listening to the Island’s concerns over ferries and medical supplies.
Speaking in the House of Commons last night (Monday 23 March) Mr Seely demanded action from Government to allow the three ferry operators to communicate with each other to ensure that a service could continue to deliver supplies and key workers to and from the Island.
Mr Seely told the government front bench that Competition Law currently prevents the three ferry companies on the Island from talking to each other and working on resilience plans collectively. He said the ferry firms could not talk to each other without ministerial direction – something Mr Seely has been pushing the government for during the past week.
Mr Seely described the ferry firms as a ‘lifeline for the Island’ and key to the transportation of food, passengers and other supplies. “Although we are an island, we need to stay open because we need food going out and coming in, we need key workers to go backwards and forwards, and we need people to continue to receive life-saving medical treatment in Southampton and Portsmouth. If the ferry firms fall over, we cannot do that.”
In his latest speech in the House of Commons the Island’s MP also sought reassurance from the government that nurses – particularly those at the Island’s hospice - would be able to administer other opiates (aside from morphine) should these supplies become short. Mr Seely said there was currently a ‘glitch in the system’ that prevented this.
The Cabinet Officer Minister assured the Island’s MP that the issue of opiate administration was being looked into and that Mr Seely would shortly be receiving a letter from the Secretary of State with regard to the ferry issue.
Ms Mordaunt said: “The Department of Health and NHS England are looking at this precise issue of being able to authorise other healthcare professionals to administer other opiates, and I am assured by my honourable friend that he will very shortly be getting a letter from the Secretary of State with regard to the Isle of Wight ferry issue.
“I do not know its content, I am not briefed on that, but his lobbying has worked.”
Speaking afterwards Bob said: “I am delighted to hear that the government is listening to the Island’s concerns and acting upon them.
“I look forward to receiving the letter from the Secretary of State and I will watch closely the advice coming out from the Department of Health with regard to the administration of medicine.”
Last week Bob with other MPs demanded a much more generous jobs retention support package to ensure that as many jobs as possible were protected. More measures for the self-employed will be forthcoming.