ISLANDERS have been urged to play a greater role in shaping health services.
As the Isle of Wight NHS Trust continues its drive towards foundation trust status — ensuring hospital, ambulance, mental health, maternity and community services continue to be provided on the Island — health bosses have urged people to become trust members.
In order to become a foundation trust, it must have a strong and active membership. So far, 3,606 people have signed up against a target of 4,000 by April.
At the first meeting of members, held at St Mary’s Hospital last month, more than 70 people — including NHS staff and volunteers, patients and other service users, schoolchildren and pensioners — were given the chance to quiz health bosses.
They included Leanne Gander, 23, from Ryde, who said: "I’ve joined so I can get my points over for people, like myself, with learning disabilities. I want to make a difference for myself and my friends."
Trust chief executive Karen Baker denied there were too many managers and too few frontline staff.
"Our goal is to deliver quality care for everyone, every time, by doing things better and driving waste out of the system. When we’re looking at saving money, the first thing we do is look at how many chiefs there are and if they’re working efficiently," she said.
Executive director of nursing Alan Sheward said the trust was looking for members to become 'quality champions’ to carry out unannounced visits to hospital wards and provide feedback.
Chairman Danny Fisher said: "This is your NHS so get involved — we’re handing the NHS over to you. The more we can get the community involved, the better."
For further information about becoming a member, visit www.iow.nhs.uk/ft