In May, the IW NHS Trust announced it would take two years to simply catch up with the backlog of elective surgery.

That’s with working evenings and weekends; and, this would only return things back to the long waiting lists which pre-existed before the pandemic took hold.

Many medical conditions of course in the interim have become considerably worse and are now presenting as ailments requiring more complex treatments and recovery times.

Moreover, this estimated timeline all presupposes no new Covid variants comes along which circumnavigate current vaccine protections.

Surely there needs to be a much more imaginative and dynamic response?

A few months ago I asked the IW NHS Trust several questions about the £48m they were awarded back in 2019.

It has since became clear £18 million was earmarked for IT and buildings on the Island, with £10m going to Portsmouth University Hospital, leaving £20m presently unaccounted for.

St Mary’s currently has a hotchpotch of buildings in the North hospital, amongst which is the current day surgery unit.

Why not use the £20m to build one or two stand alone satellite day surgery units, staffed by their own independent dedicated teams, this would turbo charge the backlog of elective surgical cases, whilst adding resilience and future proofing these essential services.

Should the virus rears its head yet again, these units could operate autonomously, and wouldn’t all need to be closed down if one became compromised.

The island has a high proportion of elderly in its population, they can’t hang around for years waiting for elective surgeries, it makes sound economic sense to treat them promptly so they can get on with there lives in a healthy capacity and not become a burden on health, care and social services.

Let’s invest in our NHS here on the Island and build back better.

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