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Date: 01 August 2021
Isle of Wight NHS Trust has opened a new 14-bed Community Unit to help ease winter pressures and support people to leave hospital as soon as they are able to.
The Trust, which provides ambulance, hospital, community and mental health services on the Island, announced the new nurse-led unit as part of its plan to manage increased demand during the winter months and to support people to leave hospital.
Alice Webster, Nursing Director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “This is fantastic news for our patients and for the wider community.
“Investing in community services is one of our top priorities because it will help people to live healthy and independent lives.
“Hospitals are very busy places during the winter months and we want to do everything that we possibly can to help make sure that people are supported to leave hospital as soon as they are able to.
“We are looking forward to seeing the positive difference that this new unit will make for our community.”
The unit, based on the site of the former Compton Ward at St Mary’s Hospital, will care for people who need nursing support and a period of rest and convalescence before they can return home.
The NHS team will work alongside an Activities Coordinator and Living Well support from Age UK.
It has been funded by part of the £1.192 million additional money made available to support the local NHS through winter.
People will be discharged from hospital and referred to the Community Unit, which is being run as a standalone unit supporting people who are medically fit to leave hospital but who may be waiting for social care support or who may need nursing care as they continue their recovery before going home.
The unit with its large day room including a dining area and outside area will focus on improving people’s independence and confidence by supporting them to be mobile and active in readiness for their return home.
Visiting time is 2pm to 8pm daily, to create a protected lunch time for patients and to ensure plenty of time for activities to aid recovery and improve people’s mobility.
Isle of Wight NHS Trust also plans to invest in additional IT support for the Community Unit which will help monitor peoples activity levels in hospital and at home to support them with their confidence and independence.
The Isle of Wight Health and Care Plan, published in September 2019, highlighted the need to invest in community services as a key priority for the Island’s health service.
In autumn 2019 the Local Care Board, which brings together the NHS, social care, primary care and the community and voluntary sectors, agreed to invest £800,000 in strengthening community services.
This is one of the investments designed to enhance support to people in their own homes as part of their recovery after a stay in hospital.