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A ‘pledge to improve’ from the Isle of Wight’s strongly-criticised NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) has been welcomed by the Isle of Wight Council.

As previously reported by Island Echo, the CCG this week recognised there were ‘genuine and justified criticisms’ that it had not always done enough and that it needed to improve its engagement with people.

Now the chairman of the Council’s statutory Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care and Health has thanked the CCG for its constructive response – which followed a resolution on Monday from the committee.

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The committee had expressed its deep concern about areas including unacceptable delays in autism assessments for children and poor public and patient engagement and had called upon NHS England to take urgent action to address issues with the Island’s CCG.

The committee’s chairman, Councillor John Nicholson, said:

“We welcome the swift and constructive response from the CCG and NHS England to our strongly-held concerns.

“We are a statutory committee with powers to hold to account those responsible for adult social care and health provision on the Island – and felt this was a matter that needed urgent attention from the CCG.

“I thank them for their response, and we will be working closely with them to ensure the issues raised are followed through on behalf of the Island’s residents.”

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Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said:

“It was a robust meeting of the policy and scrutiny committee meeting where various contributors expressed their concerns. We are pleased the CCG has recognised and acknowledged the position and we are keen to work with them in the interests of the Island.

“It is important this committee exercises its statutory function to call to account – and there will now be ongoing dialogue between the committee and the CCG.

“The primary aim of the committee is to strengthen the voice of local people to ensure their needs and experiences are considered by health partners in the delivery of services. This increases the accountability of NHS organisations and holds them to account for the decisions they make.”

The Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care and Health is not a decision making body and can only recommend actions. It does however have the power to refer concerns about changes in service delivery direct to the Secretary of State for Health.

While the committee has no power to issue a vote of no confidence, as it has no executive control over any health partners, it was considered necessary by its members this week to raise its significant concerns about the Island’s CCG with NHS England (South East).

The committee has 4 formal meetings each year, which are open to the public and questions can be asked.

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