Former prison beds being used in the new hospital wards

ARMY LEAVE THE ISLAND AS FIELD HOSPITAL AT ST MARY’S IS COMPLETED

The British Army will today (Monday) leave the Isle of Wight after spending over 2 weeks assisting with the building of new wards at St Mary’s Hospital in response to the coronavirus crisis.

As exclusively revealed by Island Echo, 40 troops from the Scots Guards arrived in Cowes on 4th April and set up a temporary barracks at UKSA. The next day they began work on stripping out and transforming 3 buildings at St Mary’s – the Laidlaw Day Hospital, the Education Centre and the Outpatients Appointments & Records Unit – to accommodate up to an additional 200 beds.

The Army have been assisted by local tradesmen from firms such as W.H Brading & Sons.

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Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have remained fairly low on the Isle of Wight with a total of just 68 since the first case was announced on 7th February. Of those cases, 14 have sadly died but 15 have recovered, meaning there are less than 40 active cases locally. As a result, it is not thought that any of the additional bed capacity has been used to date – and hopefully never will.

It was confirmed yesterday that troops have been removing and refurbishing former prisoner beds from Camp Hill prison for use in the temporary wards across the road. The Education Centre ward is known as Field Hospital Oliveria, named after the on-site library.

The British Army clear out Laidlaw Day Hospital

Elsewhere on the hospital site, a temporary marquee structure – similar to an event medical centre – has been erected for use as an extension to the Accident and Emergency department. This extra clinical area is being used to treat patients with respiratory problems.

Meanwhile, the Isle of Wight Council have installed 4 refrigerated containers at the rear of the Isle of Wight Crematorium in Whippingham to act as a temporary mortuary, should the need arise.

The temporary medical centre located near the hospital’s helipad

On Friday, the Royal Air Force conducted a joint exercise with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust landing a CH47 Chinook helicopter at Seaclose Park. The exercise was used to test out the options available should a coronavirus patient need transferring from the Island to Southampton or further afield to NHS Nightingale Hospital in London.

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As a treat for their efforts over the past 17 days, the Scots Guards were treated to a Dominos takeaway last night (Sunday). They now move onto their next deployment elsewhere in the country.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Sea
Sea
1 year ago

Wonder what the new ward will be named, the 50/50 ward, as is odds of ever leaving thus far.

The army have been a real asset to us, and lets hope this new ward is of no use, but if it is, it really helps ease suffering and saves more lives.

Tony
Tony
Reply to  Sea
1 year ago

Don’t forget the Island ‘a Army Reserve lads

Fred Nurke
Fred Nurke
Reply to  Sea
1 year ago

“and lets hope this new ward is of no use”

Sorry to be pedantic, but it should be “gets no use” and let us all hope so. Glad it’s there, though. Thanks to all involved.

Mojo
Mojo
1 year ago

Excellent mission completed ,well done to all involved.
Just hope none of these beds are needed.
STAY AT HOME, don’t contribute to Covid 19

Original Mark
Original Mark
1 year ago

Well done to everyone who took part in creating this valuable resource for the island.

Especially those who gave up their easter weekend to ensure deadlines where met to get these extra beds up and running.

Truebritt.
Truebritt.
Reply to  Original Mark
1 year ago

What Easter weekend?

Jay
Jay
1 year ago

Soon as fully equipped, then we will be free of lockdown, as the Government know the increase in victims can then be treated or die in hospital, not their homes.

Thus less distress for their loved ones, and, importantly for our Government, less harm on their party which would otherwise occur if we passed away in our home because the hospitals couldn’t cope with the numbers once lock down ends.

bootneck1
bootneck1
Reply to  Jay
1 year ago

big thanks to all uk forces always there when we need you

Martin
Martin
Reply to  Jay
1 year ago

I’m not being rude here, but get real….. Lockdown is not going to end any time soon. The risk to life is still very real for all of us. Government spin might suggest that we are close to freedom, but that is to keep the plebs hopeful that this will all end overnight. No one is going to be risk free for a very long time. Sorry to disappoint. The Government’s no 1 priority is to keep the public safe and minimise the risk of death.It’s not to allow the stupid ones to die in hospital rather than in their home….

Jay
Jay
Reply to  Martin
1 year ago

Martin, I think I am seeing it ‘for real’ whilst you are not. The Government have to balance the delicate act of caring as much as is feasible for the publics health, WHILST keeping the economy of our country from ‘total collapse’ as IF that occurred, then the NHS would be broken forever, no doctors paid, nothing. So, what they ARE doing, is equipping hospitals as ‘best’ they can, and once fully achieved, they will ‘have to’ send most back to work. PPE of sorts will be provided, so as to give basic protection, BUT to prevent a backlash if ‘nothing’ was given by HMG to those then likely to catch CV The Government know then that many will die as they spread this CV to others, BUT they will then be able to die in hospital, THEN being just another ‘number’. That way the hungery for misery media will… Read more »

Fedup
Fedup
1 year ago

Thank you gentlemen for your help. I have the greatest respect for you.

Lizzy
Lizzy
1 year ago

Just interested to know who is going to staff the new wards. Presumably the hospital is going to use staff no longer being used for elective surgery procedures and other non essential specialties. I think this should have been mentioned in the article too

r bet
r bet
1 year ago

looks like the 1950’s

Black rat
Black rat
1 year ago

A massive well done and a massive thank you from the island to all the lads and lasses from our wonderful armed forces who helped amke this in under 2 weeks.
We have the best armed forces in the world and we should all be grateful for what they do for the country as a whole.

betty boo
betty boo
1 year ago

waste of time and resources. none of that will be needed,

Smithy
Smithy
Reply to  betty boo
1 year ago

Let’s hope you’re right! I know st Mary’s is coping now but time will tell

Sheena warder
Sheena warder
1 year ago

Thank you so much to all of you! Go home to your families now & be proud of everything you do just as we are!!! Xx

Dan Skelton
Dan Skelton
1 year ago

Still don’t understand why it couldn’t of been done by builders.

Newport Resident
Newport Resident
Reply to  Dan Skelton
1 year ago

WE had Builders from W H Brading Builders from Cowes. They have been there for over 2 weeks every day including Easter weekend doing 12 HOUR shifts . Nothing mentioned about are local workers who have families worried what would happen if they caught the VIRUS. We have seen Are MP thanking the Army that I have great respect for. But from day 1 up to now possibly last day tomorrow no sign of are workers getting a mention let alone a thank you.

Black rat
Black rat
Reply to  Newport Resident
1 year ago

Thank you for enlightening us on this, i personnaly didnt know, on that note i would like to say a personal thank you to all persons involved in this project and it would be nice for the IE to do a little thank you themselves. Well done all and stay safe.

Martin Shaw
Martin Shaw
1 year ago

I heard last night from a cousin of my sisters – she works for G-Amey – that they are still bringing in prisoners to island jails from mainland.

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