The Island’s NHS Trust is appealing to Islanders to call the NHS 111 number if they need urgent medical help before making a visit to the Beacon Centre.

It’s after a rise in people regularly visiting the centre, which has led to cancelled operations. According to the Trust, the number of people attending the Beacon Centre has reached an all-time high, with hospital staff consistently seeing around 200 people each day. Dr Mark Pugh, IoW NHS Trust Executive Medical Director, said:

“Currently we’re experiencing an extreme volume of traffic through the hospital doors. We’re seeing over 200 people a day in the Beacon Centre and Emergency Department and we’re having to admit more people who are particularly poorly. That situation for us is compounded by the fact that our staff are also experiencing illness, so we’re really stretched across the organisation at the moment. “We really need people to think about whether they need to attend the Beacon Centre. If you think you should we would ask you to phone NHS 111 first and they may well be able to offer you alternative treatment options like seeing your GP, a pharmacist.  On the other hand, if it’s an emergency, the NHS 111 service can send out an ambulance directly to you if that’s what’s required.” We have had to contact a number of people to cancel their operation this week. Regrettably, we have had to do that because we just don’t have the beds and therefore it’s not safe to carry out the surgery in that situation. If you don’t hear from us you can assume that your surgery or outpatient appointment still stands. “The steps we are taking are to ensure the safety of our patients which is of paramount importance to us. I would like to apologise to those people whose care we have had to inconvenience by taking this regrettable step by cancelling surgery. Nonetheless, we have to offer a safe service and that’s what we’re doing but we’re really stretched.”