Health Secretary Matt Hancock with West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas and Aisling Khan (Isles of Scilly Council) and Anita Cornelius (Cornwall NHS Foundation Trust).
Matt Hancock made a little bit of history by becoming probably the first Health Secretary to visit the Isles of Scilly earlier this week when he flew in with MP Derek Thomas to discuss ambitious plans for a new health centre on St Mary’s.
Meeting the islands’ healthcare staff and Council officials, Mr Hancock heard about proposals to transform care on Scilly by integrating health and social care in a single campus where all the islands’ health and care services would be located, including primary care, urgent care, midwifery, dentistry, a Minor Injuries Unit, pharmacy, mental health, adult social care and the voluntary sector.
The scheme meets the objectives of the NHS Long Term Plan in creating ‘a new service model in which patients get more options, better support, and properly joined-up care at the right time in the optimal care setting’.
Mr Thomas said the project could provide a blueprint for integrated healthcare across Cornwall and beyond.
“Securing the best possible model of care for the integration of health and social care is a priority for all parts of the UK but particularly on Scilly,” he said.
“The disastrous near closure of Scilly’s care home, Park House, in 2016 showed how fragile health services can be on the islands.
“The Health Secretary’s visit gave us an opportunity to demonstrate how this model can work and why it is imperative for Scilly both to enhance the care given and retain and support their excellent health and care team.
“The integration of health and care services is the way forward - the response to the pandemic has demonstrated how partnership working in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has made a significant difference to outcomes – and a one-stop shop campus on St Mary’s would be a great way to bring this about on Scilly.
“I know the Health Secretary is keen to find a way to support this integration and I will continue to press hard for the investment that will enable this transformation.”