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stmaryshospitalentranceAn increase in the number of emergency admissions to St Mary’s Hospital since Thursday night (12th February) is causing significant pressure on health services, according to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

The trust say they would like to apologise to those affected by delays and reassure patients that staff are working extremely hard to minimise any impact.

The Island’s emergency health services are not alone and there is no apparent reason for the recent rise in patients needing urgent care. . The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has responded to the ongoing pressures by opening additional winter beds and providing staff to care for patients who are eligible to move to the Poppy Unit.

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Alan Sheward, Executive Director of Nursing and Workforce, said:

“Opening the Poppy Unit has helped to cope with the increasing health needs of our local population. However, we continue to experience sudden peaks in demand, which put our emergency services under increased strain. Whilst most of these cases are of genuine need, we would still ask people to think carefully about whether their problem needs a trip to the Emergency Department or the Beacon Health Centre, as unnecessary visits do add pressure to our already stretched services.

“We also know that some of the internal pressures within our hospital are because patients who are fit to leave the Trust are unable to, for various reasons. We are working very hard with the local authority, care home providers and patients’ families and carers to find appropriate onward care for such patients and we are grateful for our partners’ support and understanding”.

Decisions about whether planned, or elective, procedures are taking place are being taken on a daily basis and cancellations are being avoided where at all possible. Patients should attend appointments as normal, unless they are contacted by the Trust and informed otherwise.

For non-urgent healthcare advice, Islanders are asked to consider using the 111 non-emergency helpline, visit their pharmacy or GP. You can also find health advice online at

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Common complaints which can be treated at home with advice from the pharmacist include:

  • Skin conditions, such as mild acne and mild eczema
  • Coughs and colds including nasal congestion and sore throat
  • Minor cuts and bruises
  • Constipation and haemorrhoids (piles)
  • Hay fever and allergies
  • Aches, pains, such as headaches, earaches and backaches
  • Indigestion, diarrhoea and threadworms
  • Period pain and thrush
  • Warts and verrucas, mouth ulcer and cold sores
  • Athletes foot
  • Nappy rash and teething

GPs should be visited if you have concerns about a condition that will not go away, or is getting worse.    It is important to visit your GP if you have a recurring condition that is affecting your ability to function on a day to day basis.

For emergency dental treatment at weekends and bank holidays, call your own dentist first. If unable to make contact or unregistered on the Isle of Wight, call 0845 0508345, 08:30 to 21:30 every day.

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