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stmarysa+eambulancebaySt Mary’s Hospital is under pressure and failing to meet the national standard of seeing, treating, admitting or discharging patients within 4 hours, prompting the Isle of Wight NHS Trust to release a ‘what do know and when to go’ guide.

In the period to September 2014, St Mary’s was achieving 95% or more of patients seen, treated, admitted or discharged from the Emergency Department within four hours – the national standard. However that percentage dropped in October to 94.2% with a further drop in November to 91.5%. So far this month the percentage total sits at 92.2%.

Increased emergency admissions has also reduced the hospital’s ability to meet the national 18 week referral to treatment target and there is a backlog on some waiting lists. It was recently announced that some patients will be offered scheduled operations on the mainland to reduce any backlog.

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Alan Sheward, Executive Director of Nursing and Workforce says:

“Emergency health services are always under pressure over the winter but this year has been more difficult and challenging at an earlier stage. Some patients have sustained waits owing to the significant pressure on the services. We are still seeing a number of patients attending the service and leaving either without waiting to be seen or leaving without requiring treatment, which suggests they may not have attended the best service.

“Our guide ‘What to know and when to go’, published today provides excellent advice on everyday health services you may need in a hurry.  It is important that everyone takes responsibility for their own health and well being and for those less able to care for themselves.

“We would appeal to Islanders to use health services sensibly and prepare for the Christmas and New Year break. Make sure that your medicine cabinet is stocked. Ensure that you have got your repeat prescription and enough medicine to see you through to January.  Pharmacists are open throughout the Christmas and New Year period and they are highly trained and able to assist with many common health issues. If in doubt call 111 before leaving home so that you get the best possible advice on where to go and when.

“Relatives can help by facilitating the discharge from hospital. When patients are medically fit to leave hospital it is important that the discharge is made quickly. Hospitals are not the best place for people to spend long periods of time and a bed occupied by someone who is fit to leave is a bed we can’t offer to an emergency admission. Sometimes it is not possible to achieve a discharge to the absolutely ideal accommodation but it may be necessary to see it as a stepping stone to the best place.”

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A copy of ‘What to know and when to go’ can be downloaded from

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