Why we are organising a meeting to safeguard the NHS now on the Isle of Wight.

Ken Knapman

It would appear that the NHS is on its way to becoming a most significant issue in this election. This is why we are organising the meeting in Ryde tomorrow night at the Aspire at 6.30pm. Anyone who feels strongly or wants to be part of this movement should try and attend.

Our aim is for an Island wide Organisation to Defend and Secure the Future of the NHS.

There is ignorance still of the real situation affecting the island NHS and St Mary’s. The faith in the Government and the notion that ‘all is fine’ is not of our own causing. It is the problem caused by the powers that be.

There is an obvious crisis that manifests itself from time to time with emergencies etc. Yet we need to know the facts about our services, how privatisation, how outsourcing of services is carried out, how and where because the opposition will use crisis to blame our NHS, our hospital and its staff and advocate more wrecking measures in our NHS all on the basis of so called, “efficiency”.

The whole reason why they have put in place STP’s, Sustainability, Transfer Plans or more commonly viewed as, “Slash trash and privatise” plans in the movement. The whole strategy of the Government to replace our NHS is in these plans and that is why they call them ‘transitional’. The Government of Teresa May does not believe that the NHS itself is sustainable. We will be presenting and discussing these things at the meeting.

The start of the understanding process about how the Government were approaching the NHS was when we heard in 2014 that 422 agencies operate here on the island on health and out side of the NHS. We heard this information over 3 years ago. This was before, “My Life a full life” was even conceived of. We learned how GP’s were confused as to connecting up the services in a scattered “network” and how they would be accessed.

Since we have learned how My Life a Full Life operates, or doesn’t if you wish, we have seen that the tried and tested NHS is to be replaced by something sustainable with over £350,000 of the last Hammond budget being spent on talk shops and bureaucratic posts. Yet not one new care home, not one new respite centre for the benefit of unpaid carers to get relief, not one nursing home in the NHS created in other words, the tried and tested method to prevent bed-blocking has not been considered.

We learned a while back, how the blood bank was removed and a specialist doctor took an entire department off the island concerned with spinal operations, yet we have heard of little more.

We know that most early cancer diagnosis is dependent on MRI scans and other diseases, yet no MRI scanning is carried out in any significant way here on the island any more. Surely this procedure and routine must be re-established.

What we are seeing, albeit not too clearly yet, is the rundown and partial rationing of service to the island.

It is clear that there is only a slow drip feed of information passing down to us. Even since the resignation of CEO, Karen Baker there is little cognisance and there is little understanding of what is available to us.

We need the information and whistle blowing but fear to speak out because of jobs amongst staff and union representatives, retards our collective knowledge. We must demand the information, facts, figures and details of the plans they are making. We need a proper audit of what services we provide and what is due to be outsourced.

Previously the Forum then the Link and now Healthwatch, are not in a position to provide us with that information and management are not releasing any. We cannot simply gather hearsay, which would take an age to accumulate. The NHS  management has the knowledge and information but they refuse to release it.Therefore the right to know itself is a demand.

Also there is the issue of Primary Care and GP’s. What are the plans for GP’s per head of population? What practices are due to fold? How do we compare per 1000 population percentages with the rest of the World. I can tell you, Ventnor is around 1.2 per cent , which compares with Albania. The estimated decent level is 2.5% at least. You can see this with World Health Organisation figures and a simple calculation of surgeries in a place like Ventnor with a population of 6,000 and two surgeries, one that was until recently up for closure.

Regarding the labour shortages, we do not really know the workings of the NHS, what or when agency staff are used or how many? We do know that there were nurses in highly specialised positions who were removed from their jobs leaving some nurses having to re-apply for posts and only one or two holding onto a position.

Without this knowledge only crisis, like last Christmas, is suddenly thrown at us and more calls to move it all to the mainland because it is so called “inefficient” and not able to cope because of too many patients and an aging population used as excuses. At the same time people are manipulated to believe in Government rationale and even think that because of disinformation that everything is safe in their hands or there isn’t really a problem on the island, which we know is untrue because there are so many anecdotes and stories of individuals having problems with themselves or relatives or staff being frustrated or run off their feet. We hear of transportation problems caused by travel to and from Southampton in the back of a van by a private firm or appointments not met because there is no-one to sit in the back with the patient in transit.

This is what we have with this meeting, an opportunity to start an island wide pro-NHS organisation, that can unite all and soberly take up the struggle and the fight to safeguard the future of the NHS, as a right of all!

Public meeting 6.30-8.30

Aspire Ryde
Dover Street

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