Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock visited the Isles of Scilly on Monday 24 May 2021, as part of a tour of health services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Mr Hancock visited St Mary’s to be briefed on an ambitious project to create a shared health and social care facility.
The new campus would include GPs, a pharmacy and dentist as well as minor injury, urgent care, mental health, adult social care and voluntary sector services. The campus would also incorporate bedded care to replace those beds currently provided by the hospital and Park House.
The Health Secretary also took the opportunity to thank the team who had delivered the local COVID-19 vaccination programme and achieved a fantastic rate of delivery despite the logistics of transporting vaccines to the islands. Mr Hancock also met the local health and care team, as well as a new baby delivered just the night before!
Councillor Robert Francis, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, commented: “The council recognises the need for high quality on-island social care and residential care, and this is one of our top priorities. The opportunity to be at the forefront of the integration of health and social care is something we welcome. Not only does it make best use of the skills and resources we have available, but by collaborating with our health partners we can increase resilience and help to safeguard the continued provision of services for islanders for years to come. We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to personally brief the Secretary of State on the ambitious work we have carried out so far and plans for future integration.”
Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives, West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly added: "Securing the best possible model of care for the integration of health and social care is a priority not just for Scilly but for all parts of the UK. The Health Secretary’s visit to Scilly allows us to show 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. 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."
Upon his return to the mainland, the Secretary of State visited further health and care facilities in Cornwall, including Royal Cornwall Hospital and the St Austell Healthcare GP practice, where he met with clinicians, managers and hospital staff to discuss plans for integrated health and social care.
Mr Hancock later shared plans for transforming care models in health and social care with the county’s health and care leaders.