Duke of Cornwall breaks ground for Isle of Scilly community hospital

The first ground has been broken for a new integrated health and social care facility on the Isles of Scilly, by the Duke of Cornwall.

His Royal Highness was given a tour of St Mary’s Community Hospital on 10 May, before being handed a spade to carry out the ceremony, with the ground breaking following the new integrated facility securing both planning and national funding approval. After breaking ground, Prince William dubbed the development ‘exciting’, and said he looked forward to coming to see it next year.

The Duke met with staff from the hospital and St Mary’s Health Centre, Council of the Isles of Scilly, and partners, to hear more about the challenges of delivering health and care services on the islands. The aim is to develop and continue an integrated model of care that supports the needs of the island communities, and will future-proof services for years to come.

Trust Chief Executive, Debbie Richards, who showed the Duke around the community hospital, said: “The visit from His Royal Highness is a real morale boost for both health and social care staff, who have worked tirelessly to see this plan come to fruition. Without their vision and championing, we would not have got this project off the ground.

“It has been a very special day for our staff, and for the islands. His Royal Highness was particularly keen to hear from staff about the reality of delivering healthcare in such a remote setting. His curiosity and desire to understand more is really welcome.”

Located on the St Mary’s Community Hospital site and land next to St Mary’s Health Centre, the new facility will provide 12 residential care home beds, NHS inpatient beds, and a modern maternity suite. Other outpatient services will continue – including X-ray, a minor injury unit, and dental and consulting rooms. The aim will be ‘to provide robust services to keep people at home, or close to home, where clinically possible’ – including via maximising digital technologies and remote support.

The Duke also met members of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, including Chairman, Councillor Robert Francis, pictured as His Royal Highness signed a special book to mark the occasion. Councillor Francis described the project as ‘central to protecting and sustaining the health and wellbeing of the whole community on the Isles of Scilly’. He said:  “The integration of health and social care services has long been considered the best option for the islands, to enable a better use of resources and easier access to the services. It will also increase the likelihood of island residents being able to stay either at home or close to home as their health and social care needs increase.

“The Council is excited to continue working with our NHS colleagues in the delivery of this landmark project. It aims to improve the quality of life available to everyone on Scilly by reducing the risk of such essential services only being available on the mainland.”

The project is a collaboration between Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Council of the Isles of Scilly; primary care; Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust; South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; voluntary sector partners and mental health services. All partners are working in collaboration with the Duchy of Cornwall.




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