More beds and a new unit has opened at St Mary’s — following a major £1.2million investment to help ease winter pressures.
The new 14-bed Community Unit, which opened last week as part of the NHS Winter Plan for 2019/20, was funded by money awarded to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Supporting additional capacity schemes
The funding, £1,192,000, was earmarked to support additional capacity schemes including care home support, additional domiciliary care and more beds.
Current bed occupancy at the IW Trust has been increasingly challenging — with some weeks reported at being over capacity of their current 214 beds.
Based at former Compton Ward
Now, the new nurse-led unit, based on the site of the former Compton Ward at St Mary’ Hospital, will help reduce some of the additional demand winter brings to help patients leave hospital as soon as they are able to.
Patients will be cared for who need nursing support and a period of rest and recuperation before they leave — with nurses working alongside Age UK to provide an activities coordinator and Living Well support.
Fully-operational standalone unit
The now fully-operational standalone unit has a large day room and group dining table to allow medically fit patients, who have been discharged from hospital and referred to the community unit, to interact with others.
It also lets patients who may be waiting for social care support or who may need nursing care a stop-gap to continue their recovery and improve their mobility before going home.
Additional IT support will be invested in the unit to help monitor patient’s activity levels in hospital and at home.
Webster: Top priority
Alice Webster, nursing director at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:
“This is fantastic news for our patients and for the wider community.
“Investing in community services is one of our top priorities because it will help people to live healthy and independent lives.
“Hospitals are very busy places during the winter months and we want to do everything that we possibly can to help make sure that people are supported to leave hospital as soon as they are able to.
“We are looking forward to seeing the positive difference that this new unit will make for our community.”
The new funding is on top of the £800,000 investment from the Local Care Board in the autumn last year to strengthen community services allowing people to stay at home as part of their recovery — a key priority for the Island’s health services.
It is also being used to place district nurses and therapists into A&E so they work alongside the social workers who are supporting people to return to their homes rather than spending unnecessary time in hospital.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed
Image: © Used with the kind permission of Auntie P