Commissioned by the Public Health team at the Isle of Wight Council, the IRIS contract began on 1st October 2014 and brings together services previously provided by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust (IDAS), Cranstoun and the Isle of Wight Council (Get Sorted).
The new service provides personalised treatment from seven locations across the Island, making access to help and advice much easier. There is now just one phone number for anyone needing to use the service, or family and carers wanting to get help for relatives.
The launch was also an opportunity to officially unveil the new logo for IRIS, created by a number of service users who got together with designers from the NHS. Among those involved in the new design was Dan Murray from Shanklin. Speaking about the unveiling of the eye shaped logo, he said:
“It feels excellent, like you’re actually contributing. The eye represents looking to the future and we hope it will encourage particularly younger people to seek help.”
Chris Brock from Newport was also involved in designing the logo. He said he hoped the new service would help remove the stigma of seeking help:
“People are under the impression that if you go to IRIS, you are obviously a heroin addict. But it’s so much more than that; it’s helping people with mental health, people who struggle day to day. They do so much for people, so it’s about letting the community know that it is here to help people. It’s not just about drugs; it’s so much more than that.”
Both said that they had noticed an improvement in the services provided since the new contract began. Dan commented:
“Personally, for myself, there’s a lot more in place. I’m in recovery at the moment and I haven’t been this far before ever, so there’s definitely a lot more information for people now.”
And Chris added:
“The key workers are so much better – before you’d have appointments here and there. But now it’s restructured, they take so much time with you. It’s the personal touch, you feel like they are going to take care of you.”
Georgia Tuckey, Team Leader for IRIS, said:
“The new service is designed to ensure we’re taking services out into the community. We now have a system where we have a central hub at Buccleuch House in Newport, and six new locations around the Island where services are being delivered. The intention is to try and make access to the recovery system much easier, particularly for service users who don’t live in Newport.
“Our aspiration by integrating services is to provide a cohesive, visible and less complicated recovery system that will improve access to a range of services far easier, not just for those who are actively in treatment, but those who are using the recovery system in different ways”.
The new IRIS service provides:
• A service that is accessible from seven locations across the Isle of Wight
• Personalised treatment focused on the individual’s recovery
• A single phone number that can be used by anyone who needs the service
• One to one and group support
• Support for families and carers
• Services for young people
• Testing for blood borne viruses and hepatitis B vaccination
• Advice and information
• Support from mentors who have achieved their own recovery
Photographed L-R: Chris Brock, Georgia Tuckey and Dan Murray showing the new IRIS logo