THE Isle of Wight NHS Trust has declared a critical incident across the acute and ambulance services today (Monday) – to protect patient safety as the hospital and emergency department are full.

Demand for emergency and urgent care is currently outstripping the number of beds available, which is leading to unacceptable delays in care and admission.

Victoria Lauchlan, interim chief operating officer at the trust, said: “We currently have a high number of people in hospital beds who are waiting for onward care arrangements in the community.

“We are working as an Island healthcare system to do everything we can to ensure we can help better support these people to be discharged home with a package of care, or to care and nursing homes.

“At this time, we are asking people to help by collecting their relatives or friends as soon as they are ready to leave, and help with any additional care and support at home.”

Juliet Pearce, director of nursing, midwifery and AHPs added: “To protect the life-saving services we provide, we are asking for everyone’s support, including using your local healthcare services appropriately.

“You can help by visiting 111 online, or speaking to your pharmacist, GP or practice nurse in the first instance for support with coughs, colds, rashes and diarrhoea and vomiting.

“We are here if you need us, but please be patient if you need to use our hospital services, as our teams are doing all they can.”