TWO specialist health services are struggling to meet demand due to staff shortages and a lack of funding.
The adult speech and language therapy service, which helps stroke patients and people with learning difficulties, and the orthotic service, which provides braces and splints to people with limb and spine conditions, are run by the IW NHS Trust.
Due to a shortage of 2.4 full-time equivalent posts in an already small team, compounded by a high turnover of patients and number of referrals, the speech and language therapy service has struggled to deal with its current caseload of 500 patients.
Recruiting new therapists willing to relocate to the Island has proved difficult.
According to a report presented to the trust board last month: "The service can only provide assessment and advice in many cases, and there is no time to treat."
However, more than 80 per cent of clients meet their rehabilitation goals by the time they are discharged.
Demand for orthotic care has risen steadily over the past six years, as a result of an increasing focus on maintaining mobility and independence and delaying the need for surgery. Referrals are predicted to have trebled by the end of next year.
According to the board report, demand for the service was far outstripping the capacity of the small team of specialised clinicians, technicians and administrative staff to deliver care.
The service was not adequately funded and targets to see patients within 18 weeks had been missed.
However, a business case for additional resources was presented to the IW Clinical Commissioning Group, which buys and monitors health services, last year. A decision is expected by the end of next year.