Isle of Wight health bosses are warning of the impact of unprecedented pressure on local health services and are appealing to local residents for help.

Juliet Pearce, chief nurse at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “St Mary’s Hospital and NHS services across the Island are under unprecedented pressure and we need to be honest with Islanders about what that means.

“Our hospital is full, and our teams are working extremely hard to find beds for everyone that needs them, but sadly this means that some people are waiting far longer than we would like in our Emergency Department.

“Pressure is being felt outside the NHS too and there are dozens of people in hospital today who could be better cared for somewhere else, but there aren’t places in nursing and residential care for them to be discharged safely.”

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust confirmed that it has cancelled some planned operations and if the situation doesn’t improve more Islanders may have their surgery delayed so that it has the staff and beds available to ensure the safety of its patients.

Ms Pearce said: “The heatwave is making things even more challenging as people who may already be poorly need hospital care and we are appeal to Islanders to take the right precautions to safeguard themselves by drinking water, staying out of the sun, and keeping cool.

“In addition, high rates of Covid-19 in the community and the knock-on effects of staff sickness in the NHS are all contributing to this perfect storm of pressure.”

The NHS Trust urged Islanders to call NHS 111 first and only call 999 if they have a serious or life-threatening condition or injury.

Families and loved ones are being asked to support in collecting patients from hospital as soon as they are ready to be discharged.

Like all NHS ambulance services across the country, Isle of Wight Ambulance Service is at its highest level of alert, REAP 4.