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Military planners have identified ways to significantly increase bed capacity on the Isle of Wight at both the St Mary’s Hospital site in Newport and at other locations around the Island.

With the number of patients presenting with coronavirus symptoms continuing to rise, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust has been working with the military to explore contingency options. It’s said that should the need arise plans have been identified to deliver a ‘significant increase’ in additional beds at St Mary’s.

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust says that as many as 200 additional beds could be made available as we move towards the peak of the pandemic, which could be as soon as 12th April. That said, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has said the peak here could be 3-6 weeks away.

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Teams have also been working to identify potential other sites around the Island that could be used for treating patients, if required – thought to mean field hospitals.

Meanwhile, Island Echo can exclusively reveal that 3 large mobile refrigeration units have been shipped to the Island to act as temporary storage for the deceased. With things expected to get worse before they get better, authorities have established the temporary mortuary in order to deal with a rise in deaths locally.

Work has already been taking place at St Mary’s with the Intensive Care Unit increased from 6 ventilated beds to 18, with further plans to increase this to 45. A number of other wards – thought to be 5 – have also been reconfigured to create isolation wards.

It is understood that an area used for storing patient records has also been cleared with the files being transferred to Parkhurst prison across the road. The Laidlaw outbuilding has also been repurposed.

The Community Unit at the hospital has been temporarily moved to Ryde Health and Wellbeing Centre, freeing up a total of 25 beds on the main hospital site.

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In a short statement issued on Wednesday, the Trust said that it would be announcing details about their plans over the coming days.

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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Field hospital could be set up at Smallbrook Stadium, as the buildings there would have fresh running water. Build a fence around the track and have the field hospital inside. I’m sure the military are far more forward thinking than our ever non present local MP.

Book’em dano

Why not use camp hill for all this strange !! more expenses


If we executed all serious crime prisoners, or those who have re offended, then we would have far less in jail and save a fortune, especially if ONLY British people were in the UK instead of the worlds criminals.

Why should we pay for the worlds low life, when our own people need help more than ever. I would execute them for minimum wage and never lose sleep over it.

Real life is ‘not’ the green mile.



Can I watch please?

A human being

He’s busy Mark crawling up the greasy pole!

Bob Frapples

Or the unused ice rink for body storage

Mrs brown

Is there not an empty prison???


The prison if falling to bits. Been empty too long.


Or even Newport football club


We are also forgetting that we have to empty prisons don’t we ????????


The reaper is coming – If only they had shut off the island when we were all saying so – there are 3 families I have identified moving in to their holiday homes over the last 10 days! in my small island village (how many more?)

Would have saved a lot of money for the government – coulder wouler shooder!

Shanklin Steve

The ferries should have stopped or been stopped bringing people over from the mainland weeks ago and just engaged with our NHS and key workers who work on the mainland plus food and essential items for us Islanders.

East cowes bloke

Why not use the empty camp Hill prison. A couple of hundred ready made isolation rooms


Why not use Camphill?
Water, power, heating, single rooms. Outside areas with parking (free) and lots more.
It’s been delocked so it’s hardly a prison either.


Just let’s hope we don’t get many more and let’s just be there for one another in these difficult times


Maybe they may use the empty prison we have


Same shit the media making amountin out of a mole hill….. Scarring loads of people


Wake up and smell the coffee! Is Ventnor really that backward!

mr justice

Hey hey, someone with their own mind! Wow, that’s rare! Watching with interest.


Not feeling like we have enough ventilators coming to the island.. This is very concerning.


Build a unit in Seaview and wait for the D.F.Ls to go back to London

Karin Broome

Actually there are four containers…

Common Sense

I would have thought that this was absolutely ideal, especially as its only across the road…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVhJ8DcDgI4


Why not open up Jersey Camp at Newtown ?

Bob Harrison

Send all holiday home owners back to there permanent homes


The hospital is still not getting enough supplies for for cleaning and PPE is sparse. If the government is doing what it say it is why are we not getting it! It’s ok getting all this other stuff in just in case but we are in the here and now for gods sake! Who is in charge of getting them what they need! Everyone is short of wipes to even basically clean anything and masks of decent quality, if they are there then people are hoarding them and nit sharing between departments. Needs stricter monitoring and sharing out. Oh and… Read more »

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