ST MARY'S Hospital was 'in chaos' over the weekend — with some patients reportedly asked to vacate beds and wait in chairs instead.

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust said the hospital was extremely busy and staff were unable to provide beds as quickly as they would have liked.

The Island Labour Party said it had learnt the hospital was in chaos and a number of incidents had been reported to party officials — prompting general election candidate Richard Quigley to warn the situation would worsen if the Conservatives were re-elected.

They included patients who were able to sit being asked to vacate beds and wait in chairs, so the beds could be used by other patients, extremely long waiting times for people waiting to be admitted or seen by a doctor, and discharge delays — which meant some patients were left in chairs in the open ward, with no privacy or dignity.

It was also reported there was only one doctor on duty in the A&E department.

An Isle of Wight NHS Trust spokesperson said: "High levels of demand for our services towards the end of last week and throughout the weekend meant the whole of St Mary's was extremely busy.

"It was a challenge to find beds as quickly as we wanted to for everyone that needed them and some people waited longer than we aim for in our Emergency Department.

"Our teams worked diligently to keep patients safe and we thank them for their efforts."

Mr Quigley said: "This is a foretaste of what's to come at St Mary's if the Tories are re-elected.

"It doesn't matter how hardworking or dedicated our NHS staff are — you cannot underfund the health service by as much and for as long as the Tories have without these consequences.

"You've all seen nationally the pictures of that poor little boy forced to sleep on a pile of coats on a hospital floor.

"That sort of chaos isn't happening somewhere else — it's happening here.

"Bob Seely likes to repeat his claim about £48 million he allegedly secured for St Mary's. Well, that wasn't new money, and it's not being used for frontline services.

"That's why we have the scandal of wards being closed and patients being sent to the mainland, because of staff shortages here.

"All Islanders thinking of voting Conservative on Thursday need to think very hard about whether they or their loved ones might need NHS treatment or care in the next five years.

"We need a Labour MP on the Island to get the real resources St Mary's needs."

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust spokesperson added: "The NHS on the Isle of Wight has a plan to deal with the challenges of the winter period and we recently opened a new Urgent Treatment Centre to treat people with minor injuries and illnesses, which will relieve some of the pressure on our Emergency Department.

"We are also grateful for the continued support of our local community. People can help us manage the increased demand by only calling 999 or coming to the Emergency Department in a genuine emergency. If they need help or advice they should call NHS 111, visit a GP or try a local pharmacy."