How deeply depressing to read your story, ‘Isle of Wight hospital apologises over long A&E wait times’, in last week's issue (CP online, 17-06-22).

A recurring problem, and it isn’t even winter yet.

Issues are not going to be resolved by the proposed A&E upgrade, since the problem lies elsewhere, namely St Mary’s Hospital's inability to admit patients into appropriate ward settings until existing patients who are fit enough to be discharged have been moved.

The issue is doubly sad if it were not for the fact that the trust was provided with an imaginative design solution to this very concern over a year ago.

The design centres around a relatively low-cost build that provides — among other things — a temporary holding unit for patients waiting to be placed in the community.

The unit's purpose is to free up essential ward space so A&E patients can be speedily admitted into specialist wards where they can receive appropriate care, and not held for hours in A&E.

This discharge unit/transit hub offers numerous benefits, and features an ingenious articulating division wall that efficiently accommodates the changing requirement of male/female places, in a setting that houses a central nursing station with discreet technologies that maximise efficiencies.

By all accounts the proposal was well received by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

The unit, or something along similar lines, just needs to be built, less St Mary’s is to face the same issues year on year.

NHS patients and NHS staff deserve positive action on resolving recurring problems, not excuses and apologies.

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