MP Bob Seely has today welcomed the news that the Island is to receive major government investment in its healthcare system - to the tune of £48m.
The announcement is a part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise to upgrade 20 hospitals across the country, ensuring money gets to front line services. It also follows a series of meetings in the past two years between Bob and Health Ministers in which Bob made the case for more funding for healthcare on the Island.
Last month in Parliament, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, agreed with Bob that the Island faces additional challenges in providing healthcare because of its isolated status as an Island.
Bob said: “I am delighted at this investment. This is a major boost for the NHS on the Isle of Wight. I want to thank the NHS staff on the Island for the work that they do as well as Maggie Oldham, Vaughan Thomas and the NHS’s leadership team on the Island.
“This shows this Government's commitment to delivering extra funding for the NHS, both nationally and on the Isle of Wight.
“When I became the Island’s MP, I promised that Government would listen to the Island more. I am delighted that this Government is beginning to do so. There is more to be done but this is more good news for Islanders.
“Details will be confirmed on Monday, but the IoW NHS Trust is going to use this money to become a national leader in telemedicine as well as pioneering integrated IT to enable a seamless NHS service. It will also spend millions of pounds upgrading parts of St Mary’s to improve patient experience.”
This announcement builds on other recent victories for the Island.
For the first time in its history, the Island was formally recognised as an Island by Whitehall in December’s Government Funding Review.
In it, the Government said: “The Isle of Wight is a uniquely isolated and remote authority.” It added that the Island suffered "unique cost pressures... associated with providing services on an island," and agreed “to take account of the additional time taken by ferry transport in any measure of remoteness, including the time taken on board the ferry and at embarkation and disembarkation.”
In addition, late last year, the Department of Transport pledged millions of pounds in funding to ensure the renovation of Ryde Pier Railway Bridge (http://bit.ly/RydePierFunding).
Last month, Boris Johnson committed to supporting an Island Deal.
For more details on Bob’s long-term vision for the Island, please go to www.islandvision.uk.