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majorincidentambulancestmaryshospitalAfter a rise in the number of patients attending the Emergency Department at St Mary’s Hospital, non urgent surgery has been postponed once again for at least the remainder of this week.

Less than two weeks ago non urgent surgery was postponed until yesterday (Sunday) following sustained pressure, however the Isle of Wight NHS Trust have this afternoon confirmed that the postponement is to continue until the end of the week.

All patients affected by the postponement are being contacted and all other patients who have not been contacted should attend for their appointment or procedure as scheduled. In-patient operations that are being prioritised for proceeding include all patients on a cancer fastrack pathway and all patients on an urgent pathway who require their treatment within the next 2 weeks.

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Due to the high levels of demand, the Trust is opening additional emergency beds and is now calling on all registered nurses, health care assistants (HCAs), ambulance staff, paramedics and occupational therapists (OTs) to contact the Trust if they would be willing to work any additional hours during this week.

Shaun Stacey, Interim Deputy Chief Operating Officer, said:

“We have again experienced unexpected demand over the weekend. There is no particular reason for this, although we continue to see more elderly poorly patients being admitted through the Emergency Department.

“We have additional beds which we are opening to cope with the increase in emergency admissions and asking any nursing, healthcare assistants, ambulance staff, paramedics or occupational therapists who are able to work extra hours to contact the Trust.

“We are doing everything possible to make sure that where operations have to be cancelled, patients are being offered a new appointment as quickly as possible”.

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The Trust is actively working with the local authority’s social services teams and the Island’s nursing homes, as well as patients’ families and carers, to ensure those ready to leave hospital can be found appropriate placements. The new 13 bed Poppy Unit continues to take appropriate patients who are eligible to be cared for on the unit and is receiving good reviews from patients who have been through the Unit.

The Trust is urging Islanders to use health services appropriately and anyone needing non-urgent medical care is asked to consider using alternative services, such as phoning the non-emergency 111 advice line, their local pharmacy or GP.

The national ‘Feeling Under the weather’ campaign ( is based on research that shows that the elderly and those that care for them do not seek advice early enough and this enables conditions to deteriorate to a point where a referral to hospital is necessary.   As soon as individuals start to develop a cough or cold we would encourage them to visit their local pharmacy for advice and over the counter medicine as this pre-emptive action may catch some of these nasty winter illnesses in the bud before they become full blown problems.

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