Mon. May 16th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Crisis at St Mary’s and across Hants

2 min read

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has issued an urgent plea to the public across Hampshire and the Island amid a “perfect storm” of NHS pressures and rocketing rates of Covid.

It comes as demand on services and the volume of 999 calls has soared. Latest figures show that almost every hospital bed across Hampshire and Isle of Wight is full, more than 650 people with Covid are being cared for in hospitals across the area, and more than 2,800 staff working for the NHS are off sick – almost half of them due to Covid.

The combined pressures mean it is crucial that more is done to help frontline teams working round-the-clock to continue to provide safe care to patients.

Health leaders are having to make difficult decisions to prioritise patients who are most in need of emergency care.

This means that people arriving at the emergency department who don’t need emergency care will be redirected to other, more appropriate services and patients will be discharged from hospital when they have received all of the acute care they need – even if they have Covid. Relatives and carers are asked to ensure their loved one can be discharged quickly and to support their ongoing care needs in the short term.

Dr Derek Sandeman, Chief Medical Officer for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “With staff sickness rates well above average, rising cases of Covid and very high numbers of people needing treatment, we face a perfect storm.

“If you have a loved one who is in hospital, please help staff to help get them home quickly when they are well enough. That is enormously important to help us make beds available for those in greatest need.”

Steve Parker, Medical Director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “Our emergency department is very busy. Our plea to the community is, if you think you need A&E please call NHS 111 first. The NHS 111 team, who are also based here on the Island, can provide support straight away and ensure you get the right treatment quickly.

“Should you need to come to hospital, they can arrange a time for you to arrive. If you are unsure or need medical advice you can also use NHS 111 online. Please help us to help you.”