Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on 21 March 2021, 4:22 pm




Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South
Chairman of Policy & Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care & Health





PO31 8LT
Tel: 07918 757843



See the I.W. Councillor’s section





The Report appearing in the April 2021 edition of Northwood News:


Primary Care Concerns Continue

Following the issues brought to my attention concerning Cowes Medical Centre, which were patients finding difficulties in gaining access for consultation and treatment, similar issues have been identified, with Primary Care in general, by Healthwatch in their latest intelligence report, formulated through feedback research. Concern has also been raised in the NHS Trust at a significant decline in referrals from Primary Care, indicating the same core issue of accessibility.

Some people have said that it is unfair to criticise Primary Care (or any Health Service sector) at this particular time, as it only serves to demoralise them when they have enough difficulties under current circumstances and pressures. But, providing health care is a serious business, and even minor shortcomings can have potential to lead to major problems for patients. So, letting substandard service go can lead to dreadful situations such as we found in South Staffs, etc. and the Francis Report clearly highlights these dangers and why it is important to be able to openly and constructively criticise.

Any responsible focused service will welcome and know how to handle critical feedback as a useful and constructive tool to drive improvement. If such feedback is met with negative response, or denial, it is an indicator that personal importance, personal considerations, rank more than best service delivery, and this is dangerous. We need our health professionals to be focused on those they are serving. Once anyone drifts into the belief that their job in service is all about them, then service standards are bound to follow, whether it is in healthcare or hospitality.

Place Plan Nearing Launch

The Place Plan is ready to launch. The final draft is out for proof-reading and correction. It puts Cowes and Northwood very close together in its peoples, culture, outlook and needs, also, importantly, opportunities. We have a lot of work to do in working the Place Plan, developing community assets and opportunities. It should also, as it has done for Ryde and Newport, bring us significant grant funding for community projects.

One of the things that Cowes and Northwood is so rich in is our heritage, be it maritime, aviation, or history and culture. There are many places that would give a lot to have what we have in that respect, and I, and others, would like to see us make more in the celebration and enjoyment of our heritage. When I have visited Spain, I could not help noticing that they have a combined ministry of Education and Culture and how everyone participates in celebrating their culture, bringing history alive. When was the last time we had a parade that marked the final passage of King Charles I, for example, from Carisbrooke Castle, or something to mark the departure of The Ark and The Dove from Cowes, in the foundation of Maryland?

There are so many events of interest and importance on the Island. Did you know, for example that we are the only Country to have achieved perfect orbit with a rocket and we did it first time with our Black Knight rocket, developed at Saunders-Roe at East Cowes, the test site being at the Needles. We are a legend to the people of NASA! Or did you know that Marconi developed and transmitted the first radio signals from Knowles Farm in Totland? Did you know that the old dry dock in Arctic Road was one of the biggest of its type in the Country in its day?

Road Safety Successes

It can take years to get road safety issues addressed, but persistence pays off. We have, in the face of initial denial, managed to get the double yellow lines extended at the top of Pallance Road, stopping traffic back up into Nodes Road and now not forcing vehicles onto the wrong side of the road on the bend at Wyatts Lane junction, thus making it safer for residents and other road users alike. We have also succeeded in getting the water that spread across the road just below Wyatts Lane junction contained, and I am asking for the similar issue below the Travellers Joy to be revisited. Also, I continue to argue for remedial works in Pallance Lane where unacceptable ponding floods across the road into land opposite. I had indication that remedial works were being planned, but then they were suddenly withdrawn because the flooding was blamed on poor land drainage, which is not the Highway Authority’s responsibility. However, I have argued, if the dips in the road surface weren’t there, like they shouldn’t be, and the camber was such that it kept water in the verge of the road, like it should do, there would be no problem, irrespective of whether the farmer had good land drainage or not – the argument goes on!

John Nicholson

Ward Councillor for Northwood & Cowes South
Chairman, Policy and Health Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care & Health

See the I.W. Councillor’s section

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