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Islanders asked to support NHS as pressure on services escalates

Islanders asked to support NHS as pressure on services escalates
20 October 2023

As winter approaches and pressure increases on the island’s NHS services, St Mary’s Hospital asks islanders for their support.

Juliet Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied health Professionals, said:

“We are seeing increasing numbers of people coming through our front doors as the weather is getting colder. Our priority is to keep our patients and staff safe, and our staff are working extremely hard - we are very grateful for that.

“The biggest difference we could make is to safely discharge those patients who no longer need specialist care in a hospital. The public can help us by collecting and supporting friends and family that are ready to leave hospital, this frees up beds for people who need to be admitted.

“We are heading into winter where we typically see more flu and other respiratory viruses - so getting a COVID-19 and flu jab if you are eligible, will help to protect yourself and other vulnerable people.”

Families and friends are being asked to support the NHS by collecting patients from hospital as soon as they are ready to be discharged and to consider offering short term support and care for their loved ones at home.

Dr Michele Legg, island GP and Clinical Director at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: 

“I cannot emphasise enough how hard colleagues across the Isle of Wight are working together to ensure our patients continue being able to access the care they need when they need it.

“People can also help by looking out for elderly and vulnerable people in the community, and by choosing the right service at the right time. We all need to do what we can to ensure urgent care appointments are free for those who need them and considering where else they could get care whether that’s their local pharmacy, an online consultation through their GP practice or contacting NHS 111 online.”

 The Trust is asking member of the public to:

  • Collecting family and friends from hospital as soon as they are ready to be discharged to free up beds for those who need them.
  • Consider supporting your friends or family at home if you are able to – there is financial help available.
  • Being extra vigilant in the cold weather and when surfaces are slippery.
  • Supporting friends, family and neighbours with keeping warm, shopping and collecting prescriptions if needed.
  • Think about the most appropriate NHS service for your needs and to only call 999 in the event of a life-threatening illness or injury.
  • Visit NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 for heath advice, or alternatively contact your local pharmacist or GP team.
  • Get vaccinated – get your COVID and flu jabs if you're eligible.

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