The new ward was only reopened in June.

As St Mary’s Hospital’s Shackleton Ward reopens today (Wednesday), the Isle of Wight NHS Trust says all four dementia patients temporarily transferred to the mainland will be back by the end of the week.

As previously reported by Isle of Wight Radio, the ward – which cares for people with complex mental health needs and dementia – closed its doors in April for a £200,000 refurbishment.

As a result, some of those using the facility were transferred as far as Basingstoke. 

However, The Trust now says that three of the four people moved to the mainland are already back on the Isle of Wight – with the fourth due to return to St Mary’s later this week.

Shackleton Ward has officially reopened following extensive improvement works. Staff say it has been designed with the comfort, dignity and safety of this vulnerable group of patients in mind.

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:

“Shackleton Ward is now a much more comfortable environment for our patients and our team working on the ward can be proud of their surroundings.

“It is a real improvement for the people of the Island.

“Our patients and their families rightly expect the best possible care and its improvements like this that make all the difference.”

Shackleton’s refurbishment came after the ward was labelled a ‘significant contributor’ to its CQC rating of inadequate back in 2017.

In January, inspectors from Healthwatch Isle of Wight also recommended ‘substantial quality improvements’ be made.

Joanna Smith, Manager for Healthwatch Isle of Wight, said:

“We are delighted that the IOW NHS Trust has implemented the recommendations we made within our Enter and View Report, following our visit to the ward in January this year.

“We visited the ward again last week and were pleased to see the positive changes to the environment and to hear of the new, proactive approach to working with people with dementia which is being adopted by staff.

“We look forward to working with the Trust to ensure the improvements on the ward are sustained.”