Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has reiterated to Government Ministers that the Island has additional costs to bear when it comes to healthcare, because it is separated from the mainland.
During a debate on health inequalities on Wednesday evening (4th March) Bob said:
“It is estimated that the additional costs of providing healthcare on the Island to the same standard as on the mainland is about £12 million.
“That is part of the wider issue I am looking at when seeking an Isle of Wight deal.”
Bob said he had recently spoken with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and Health Minister Edward Argar about the Isle of Wight’s healthcare system, and that he was looking into the government’s Unavoidably Small Hospitals (USH) Programme – which includes St Mary’s on the Isle of Wight.
The MP said he would try to secure debates on the USH Programme, to gain support from other Members of Parliament with similar circumstances to ensure Ministers understood the additional pressures on those hospitals.
Bob said he would also make the case to Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS – accountable to Parliament for over £120 billion of annual Health Service funding – to look at increased revenue for unavoidably small hospitals, especially on the Island, which has a 100% remoteness factor according to the USH Programme.
Earlier today, Island Echo reported on the failure of the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service to hit response times, with an estimated £1.5-1.8million needed to bring the service up to standard.