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DEMAND ON ISLAND’S HOSPITAL CONTINUES TO RISE

A significantly high number of medical emergencies to St Mary’s Hospital, ongoing difficulties in discharging patients and diarrhoea and vomiting affecting 2 wards, has resulted in the need to postpone some in-patient and day case surgery this week. 

Cancelling planned operations is necessary to create capacity to care for patients who need immediate care. All patients who are affected by these postponements have been advised and will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

In addition to the high volume of patients coming into hospital, Colwell and Whippingham Wards are currently affected by Norovirus and are closed to new admissions. This infection control measure is to ensure the virus is contained and the risk of it spreading to other areas is minimised. The Trust would like to remind visitors to the hospital that it is vitally important for those who have been unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea recently, especially if they have had these symptoms in the past 48 hours, if possible, to stop visiting patients, relatives or friends whether they be in hospital or nursing or residential care homes.

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Shaun Stacey, Chief Operating Officer at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:

“The hospital is incredibly busy, as we would expect it to be at this time of year, but add the challenges we have around discharging patients back into the community and Norovirus, which has been brought into the hospital, it is very difficult to maintain business as usual as we limited bed capacity in the hospital and in the community to accommodate the volume of patients requiring care.

“We also have a number of individuals who are medically stable but who cannot move out of the hospital for a number of reasons and we are continuing to work with the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local authority’s social service teams and the Island’s nursing and residential care homes to ensure those ready to leave hospital can be found appropriate placements.”

Shaun Stacey, continued:

“Over recent weeks the difficulties in discharging patients from hospital has meant that we have had to create additional capacity to cope with the number of patients we are currently caring for.   We can only create additional capacity by releasing the space and staff we use for surgery and that means that we have had to, regrettably, postpone some surgery. We only do this as a last resort but the current difficulties we find ourselves in mean that we have no choice. We apologise to every patient whose surgery we have had to postpone.”

Whilst the health and care system is under pressure it is important that Islanders use services appropriately. If you think you need help phone NHS 111 first and they may be able to offer you alternative treatment options like seeing your GP or a pharmacist.

Information on self care can be found on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk/selfcare and www.what0-18.nhs.uk, a website for parents of children aged 0-18yrs.

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