During December’s IW NHS Trust Board Meeting, in response to the IW Ambulance Service’s very long-standing difficulty in meeting response times, non-executive director, Tim Peachey, seeking to mitigate poor performance, explained the Island, being largely a rural community, was unlike a city such as Portsmouth where distances and therefore attendance times were generally much shorter, resulting in targets far more likely to be met.

This explanation is of course little comfort to someone having a cardio episode in, say, Freshwater.

The Island suffers a double whammy, since in times of desperate need it can not call upon a swift response from an adjoining county.

The practice of hiring private ambulance services from the mainland to meet minimum legal requirements of cover is neither a long-term economic solution, nor a sensible strategy for meeting response time targets, since mainland ambulance crews will be less familiar with the Island’s road network and geography than IW ambulance crews.

The ongoing pattern of missed targets is no reflection on our Island’s amazing ambulance staff, it simply highlights a very long history of inadequate investment in resources and ambulance staffing levels to meet the island’s requirements, which is an issue that falls firmly on the shoulders of trust executives, and one it continues to fail to address.

We do not need the monthly spiel of lily-livered excuses, the Island needs an Island Ambulance Service that is adequately resources with vehicles and fully trained crews sufficient to meet the needs of the Island community.

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