Isle of Wight mental health services set to change

As proposals are unveiled to create a priority health body specifically for community and mental health services in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, assurances have been given that the island will not be left behind.

An independent review was carried out earlier this year into the area’s community and mental health services for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB), which concluded that there was “d ‘huge inconsistencies’ in how health pathways were provided, according to the island’s mental health chief.

Speaking to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Board yesterday (Thursday), Dr Lesley Stevens, Director of Community, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, said: ‘There has inconsistencies in how things are funded, real challenges across the system around the workforce, and inconsistency in clinical pathways.

The review led the ICB to make five key recommendations.

Among these is the proposal to create a new trust across the region specifically for these services, with local divisions focusing on their communities.

Dr Stevens said: “Services will be locally delivered and will always be locally delivered. That ability for us to support each other and the consistency of the [health] the model is important.”

Speaking after the meeting, Dr Stevens welcomed the news and said the trust had made good progress in improving the services it provides to the island over the past few years, thanks to the hard work and staff engagement.

Much of the improvement, she said, was due to the positive way the trust worked with its Solent NHS Trust partners, service users and the wider community.

A clinical strategy, focusing on prevention, early intervention and patient-centred care, was also proposed.

Dr Stevens said work is ongoing on the strategy and is progressing well with nine priority areas identified – one being the child and adolescent mental health pathway which is the most complex pathway to trust, and saw very high demand after Covid-19.

Other recommendations included a review of community physical beds to ensure the highest levels of patient safety; a system-wide strategy for place and local leadership; and establishing a more strategic approach to funding community and mental health services to address inequities.

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