Regular readers of the County Press will have seen last week’s story about breaking ground to begin the new building work at St Mary's Hospital.

Now is a good time to take stock and look at the extra investment coming to the Island, and specifically into the NHS.

St Mary’s is one of 20 hospitals nationwide benefiting from new government funding to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment.

As the County Press reported last week, the investment programme on the Island will see improvements worth £6.4m to our intensive care unit, a £12.2m new emergency care floor and £5.1m for acute bed reconfiguration as well as a £6.7m integrated mental health and community hub in Newport High Street.

In addition, the government is also funding a new £10m Community Diagnostic Centre at St Mary’s, which will speed up tests, checks and scans.

There are 160 new such diagnostics centres through the UK. These centres will enable more proactive medicine to be done more quickly, helping to get waiting lists down and ultimately save more lives.

This is all part of the Conservative commitment to the NHS.

This year the NHS budget for England alone is a staggering £152.6 billion.

Recruiting is also rising significantly. Since August 2021, nationally we have 9,100 more nurses and 3,700 more doctors into the NHS; a record.

Locally, we are benefitting from that agenda too. Recruitment has improved significantly. 

During my visit to St Mary’s this month I learned that 22 local nurses have just completed their Registered Nurse Degree via the IW NHS Trust. 

In addition, 50 health care assistants from the Island have been recruited along with 120 overseas nurses.

I’d like to welcome them and thank them. Indeed, I’d like to thank all NHS and care staff on the Island for the work that they do.

The additional NHS money is part of more than £120 million of extra investment for the Island that we've succeeded in getting in the past five years.

Over and above NHS funding that also includes £50 million for Island Line and Ryde railway pier - the pier will reopen in the Spring - nearly £6 million for a heavy lift ship crane at East Cowes to help Island shipbuilding and £20 million for Isle of Wight College.

As promised, the Island is getting a better deal, and I’ll keep you updated on these projects as work progresses.

If you would like to get in touch, please drop me an email to I hope you have a good weekend.