ONLY those with life threatening conditions and injuries will be treated at St Mary's Hospital's A&E department, it has been announced.

A critical incident has been declared by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust due to sustained pressure on services.

High levels of demand and difficulties in discharging people into social care means that St Mary’s Hospital is close to capacity.

The trust said it has declared a critical incident because it allows it to take additional steps to maintain safe services for the people who need them.

The Emergency Department remains full and there is very limited space to treat patients.

They are only able to treat people with life threatening conditions and injuries, so anyone who arrives without a life-threatening condition or injury will be redirected to alternative services.

Steve Parker, medical director, said: “Our immediate priority is to ensure we can care for the most seriously ill patients, and we are focusing on discharging safely as many patients as possible.

“We ask that families and loved ones support us with this and collect patients as soon as they are ready to be discharged.”

The public is asked to help manage the periods of demand by ensuring they are seeking help from the most appropriate health services, and only attending A&E for life threatening emergencies.

Just last week, the hospital was about to declare a critical incident but averted it.

If you are unwell, visit NHS 111 online for 24/7 advice about the most appropriate care for your needs.