Isle of Wight NHS Trust is the only integrated acute, community, mental health and ambulance health care provider in England.

Established in April 2012, it provides a full range of health services to an offshore population of around 140,000 people. Its vision is for high quality, compassionate care that makes a positive difference to our Island community.

Its mission is to ensure that the local community is at the heart of everything it does. It works with partners to improve and join up services for its benefit. Below are some recent developments, covering all four areas of the Trust’s work.


Community Service

Mental Health


IoW web Jenn Van Zant 1.JPGA specialist dietitian has joined GP practices in Cowes, Newport and Freshwater to add nutrition to the growing menu of services provided for patients.

Jenn Van Zant’s appointment is the first of its kind on the Island but reflects a national move to increase the areas of speciality available to support doctors at local GP surgeries. Diet has a crucial role to play both in preventing illness and in managing some conditions.

But future patients need not worry about the advice in store if they are referred to Jenn Van Zant, a self-confessed lover of chocolate and ice cream.

She said: “Of course, certain conditions require therapeutic diets but I am not here to judge anyone on what they eat or what they look like.  I love ice cream and chocolate and sometimes I find I have to counsel myself. But dietitians are not – or should not be – the food police. It is all about finding the sensible diets that suits you and whatever condition you may have.

“If I were to give three golden bits of dietary advice it would be these: Firstly, eat healthy and well, including your five-a-day, and don’t skip meals. Secondly find an activity you enjoy doing and keep moving and be as active as you can and thirdly – don’t forget to enjoy your food...even if it is chocolate.”

Jenn works out of Cowes Medical Centre, Brookside Health Centre in Freshwater and Newport Health Centre (Dower House and Carisbrooke) which together serve more than 52,000 patients.

Jenn is now looking forward to putting her experience into practice working closely with GPs and other healthcare professionals from across other disciplines who now make up the teams at GP surgeries. Initially she will consult with people referred to her by GPs, but she wants also to accept self-referrals if they are ready – or near to being ready – to accept change.

The Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service supports General Practices to provide care home patients prescriptions and support with medication queries and reviews.

The POD delivers an efficient repeat prescribing process to reduce waste and deliver quality care for patients within care settings across the Island. The team is managed by an experienced pharmacy technician and is supported by other pharmacy staff and a pharmacy assistant.

The POD service has freed up considerable time for practices by taking on the work created by prescription requests and queries from care providers. This has meant practices have been able to focus their staff in other areas. This has also improved the number of medication reviews in residential care patients and has ensured safe and cost-effective prescribing across the Island.

IoWEscape Pain 1.jpgA group programme is helping to improve the lives of people living with chronic hip, knee and back pain on the Island.

ESCAPE-pain, which stands for Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise, is a six-week course combining education and coping strategies with an exercise programme tailored to each individual.

There are currently two programmes on offer: one focused on knees and hips and one for backs - designed to benefit people with chronic low back pain. The courses are currently available to patients from Newport Health Centre, Cowes Medical Centre and Brookside Health Centre in Freshwater.

After being referred to the programme by their GP, or applying directly to join the programme, patients commit to taking part in two one-hour sessions per week for six weeks.  Each group session is run with between 8-12 individuals, with all materials provided, and is hosted in an accessible community venue with parking nearby. A follow up call is also made at one month and three months after the programme concludes, to ensure people are continuing to manage well.

Since its launch in August 2021 the course has received positive feedback from participants who have noticed an improvement in their pain levels and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

The programme is currently available across the Central and West Wight Health Alliance Primary Care Network locality (which includes Newport, Freshwater and Cowes health centres), with the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG hoping to expand the programme to other parts of the Island in the coming year.

A short film has been produced by Newport Health Centre to show people what to expect when taking part in ESCAPE-pain

People interested in taking part in the programme should contact their local surgery. There are various participation eligibility criteria.

We are responsible for planning and purchasing (commissioning) healthcare services to meet the needs of the Island population, and most services are provided by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust - the only integrated acute, community, mental health and ambulance health care provider in England.

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust works closely in partnership with neighbouring organisations to provide safe, effective, high quality and sustainable services.

It partners with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust on acute services, and with Solent NHS Trust on Mental Health and Learning Disability services, as well as community services.

The ambulance service is delivered in partnership with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Solent NHS Trust also provides direct services on the Island including public health nursing, sexual health, dental services and mental health community services for veterans.

We enjoy close working relationships with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and our local authority partners at the Isle of Wight Council. We also work alongside a wide range of voluntary and non-statutory services locally with many of these assuming an increasingly prominent and important role in the provision of local health and care services. 

The Isle of Wight Health and Care Plan is a shared vision between us, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Isle of Wight Council and community and voluntary partners to enable people to live healthy, independent lives. It underlines our commitment to coordinate services to improve population health and reduce inequalities. The focus of the plan is to provide health and care services that better meet the needs of the local community and overcome the challenges for an ageing population. Helping people stay out of hospital, by ensuring they have the right networks of care in place around them, is central to the vision, as this not only helps improve the quality of their overall experience but also clinical outcomes. 

The 12 GP practices on the Island play a key role in the local health and care system. They form a vital part of our membership organisation, ensuring that local people get the health services they need.

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