The health and social care system on the Isle of Wight has been under pressure this winter but a variety of new schemes put in place by the Island’s multi agency System Resilience Group chaired by Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are helping the Island to cope with the rise in demand for services.
The Island received £2.4m to support the NHS through this winter and this has been used for a variety of projects including the opening of a 13 bed ‘step down’ unit in the Community for patients who no longer need to be in a hospital bed and should be cared for in a more appropriate environment. The other projects include:
– Crisis Response
– Additional GP based at St. Mary’s
– Reduction in Occupational Therapy waiting times
– Enhancements to Hospital Social Care Team and First Response Social Care Service
– Additional Porters
– Red Cross support staff for the Emergency Department
– Extended Patient Transport
– Additional on-call Community Nurses at night
– Additional resources for Ambulance Service at times of peak demand
– Additional Radiology Capacity
– Additional Medical Capacity
– Mental Health liaison to A&E and Acute Wards
– Mental Health Street Triage – extending Operation Serenity
– Additional resourcing for NHS 111 service
Helen Shields, Chief Officer at Isle of Wight CCG says:
“Even though we pulled out all the stops to prepare for this winter the NHS is experiencing unprecedented demand.
“Our planning started earlier than ever before with representatives from a range of agencies across the Island meeting together as the Island’s System Resilience Group under the chairmanship of the CCG. This group of professionals sought to identify local pressures and mitigating actions. We believe that the £2.4m we are spending this winter on schemes to support the Island’s health and social care system will help to ensure that patient safety is maintained and the good standards of service that patients deserve are protected, despite the very considerable pressures.”
Over the winter months there can be an increase in people becoming unwell. This winter there has been an increase in the number of elderly patients with respiratory conditions. When there is increased demand in the health and social care system it may mean that some patients could experience a slight delay to some services, or that services are delivered in a slightly different way.
“Island health and social care professionals have pulled out all the stops to prepare for this winter and to deliver services under unprecedented sustained pressure. Islanders can help reduce pressure on services by using services appropriately. It is inappropriate to visit patients at St Mary’s if you have had a sore throat, cough, cold and flu or if you have sickness and/or diarrhoea, until you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. Otherwise there is a risk that you could spread the virus, to patients who are already sick. Good advice can be obtained from your local pharmacist; the Island based NHS 111 service or online at the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk).”
A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions. Your local high-street pharmacy can help you deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains.
If you feel it’s not a 999 emergency, but you need medical help fast, dial 111. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, is Island based and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
Alternatively, to find out where your local NHS services are, go to www.nhs.uk and use the service finder.