Mountbatten is proud to announce it has been invited to lead a new partnership with a mainland hospice, in a move that will see the Isle of Wight team’s innovation, leadership and experience further establish Mountbatten as a significant leader in end of life care on the national stage. It will also see Mountbatten’s strategy of wanting to reach more people and work in partnership move forward, as well as ensure that services for the Isle of Wight community as they face death, dying and bereavement are secure for the future.

The ground-breaking partnership between Mountbatten Isle of Wight and the NHS-run Countess Mountbatten Hospice in Southampton will explore ways that Mountbatten can utilise its leadership and support for the mainland hospice to continue developing their services as an independent charity. The partnership is a result of an invitation from Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, which currently runs the hospice with additional financial support from the Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity.

Nigel Hartley, CEO, said: “We want to be clear to our Island community what this means, both for them and for Mountbatten. Mountbatten Isle of Wight and Countess Mountbatten Hospice, Southampton, will continue to run as completely separate charities, with a separate set of financial accounts and separate staff and volunteers. No money raised to support Mountbatten will be used to support Countess Mountbatten. Some money from Countess Mountbatten will pay for our leadership expertise and support, which will form a new income stream for Mountbatten Isle of Wight. Both hospices will remain separately registered with and inspected by the Care Quality Commission. The essence of the partnership will be based on strategic advice and support from Mountbatten’s Senior Management Team, enabling the mainland team to extend their services in their own community and start additional services such as bereavement support and hospice at home.”

Nigel Hartley went on to say: “The outstanding end of life care provided to Islanders and their families has recently led to a number of new opportunities to share our expertise and leadership with other organisations. However, we need to be clear what the benefits of this partnership are for Mountbatten and our Isle of Wight community. We hear daily of services moving from the Isle of Wight to the mainland, due to lack of financial and human resource. This partnership sees the Isle of Wight take the lead in something that is essential to develop and to sustain for our Island’s future.

“As well as feeling proud that we are being noticed for our outstanding services and innovations, this partnership firmly places us in charge. We are seeing many more Isle of Wight patients in Southampton Hospital and Mountbatten works hard to bring them back to the Island to die in the places that they wish. We need a foot on the mainland to stay in control of our Island’s future care. We also know that, although we will not share any money raised locally between the two organisations, the scale of the partnership will attract interest and funding from national larger bodies, particularly to support our newer developments, which are aimed at developing a sustainable hospice blueprint for the future. We also plan to lead on new career pathway developments for our Island’s younger people, creating new opportunities with Southampton University for nurse and social care training. I believe that our Island hospice is becoming an indispensable part of the local and national landscape of Health and Social Care and I am delighted that the hard work and commitment of our staff, volunteers and Island community over the past years have led to us being seen as a beacon of excellence and that an Island organisation is being recognised for something that other areas of the mainland want to replicate.

“I am committed to maintaining the excellent standards on the Island and very little will change in our day-to-day operations. I would also like to once again reassure Islanders that every penny raised by them to support Mountbatten to deliver and to develop services for people who need our care on the Isle of Wight will stay firmly on the Isle of Wight. We urge our Island community to continue to support their local hospice, as it is clear that we will be needed more and more into the future as local demand rises due to our growing older population and the continued stress on Island Health and Social Care services ” he added.

Sara Weech, Chair of Trustees, said: “The Board of Trustees have spent a considerable time discussing this and are fully behind the developing work to support our colleagues at Countess Mountbatten Hospice.  It is really important that Mountbatten, Isle of Wight remains strong and sustainable going forward for future Island generations. The Board see this development as an essential element to secure that long-term future”.

Dr Mark Kelsey, Clinical Chair at NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group, spoke on behalf of local NHS commissioners: “Countess Mountbatten Hospice is much-loved and valued by the local community. This new partnership will build on that work and we look forward to working with Mountbatten to make sure local people at the end of their lives, and their families, receive outstanding care and support.”