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Current waiting times (average) Emergency Dept. (A&E): 15 minutes Emergency Dept. (children): 20 minutes Learn more about our waiting times

Critical incident stood down but significant pressure remains

Critical incident stood down but significant pressure remains
11 August 2022

We have taken the decision to stand down the critical incident that was called last week in response to sustained pressure on its services.

Following a number of specific actions to enable more patients who no longer needed hospital care to be discharged, some incredible hard work by our staff and the support received from partners and public, it has seen reductions in pressure across some services. We continue to ask patients and members of the public continue to use our services wisely to ensure those with the greatest need can access care and support.

The critical incident was called on Friday 5 August due to high levels of demand and difficulties in discharging people into social care meaning that St Mary’s Hospital was close to capacity.

We declared a critical incident because it allows it to take additional steps to maintain safe services for the people who need them.

Steve Parker, Medical Director for Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “We will continue to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we can safely manage emergency care. We are still facing significant pressure, although this has reduced somewhat since last Friday and enabled us to stand down the critical incident.

“This is no easy task and requires the support of our staff, partners and the public. Despite an improvement in waiting times for ambulances, hospital bed admissions and discharges, staff at the front line remain under significant and sustained pressure in their efforts to provide safe care. We are grateful to everyone who has taken steps to help us and continue to praise our dedicated and determined teams who have once again been working extra shifts to support the wider Island community.

“It is still important that families and loved ones support us by collecting patients as soon as they are ready to be discharged.”

We would like to apologise to any patients who have experienced long waiting times or have been affected by disruptions to the normal service as a result.

We would also like to reassure patients and the public that, despite the challenges faced, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if urgent medical help is required, people should still come forward.

The public can help manage these periods of demand by ensuring they are seeking help from the most appropriate health services, and only calling 999 or attending A&E for serious accidents and genuine emergencies. If you are unwell, visit NHS 111 online for 24/7 advice about the most appropriate care for your needs. For other non-urgent cases when needing medical advice and it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP practice or a pharmacist.

Please continue to treat all NHS and care staff with the respect they deserve. Our hard-working staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep patients safe and supported. If you are unable to make any NHS appointment, please contact the number on appointment letters so that it can be reallocated to another patient.

We are also appealing to Islanders and visitors to be extra careful in the current hot weather and to watch out for sunstroke and dehydration and reminding people to check on neighbours, friends and family in the heatwave. You can find further advice on how to stay safe during the hot weather on the NHS website.

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