Open letter from Isle of Wight NHS Trust CEO to community, patients and colleagues

The CEO of Isle of Wight NHS Trust shares this open letter with Island residents about the Covid-19 fight we have ahead of us

love the nhs graffiti on a wall

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive of Isle of Wight NHS Trust shares this open letter, in her own words. Ed

Thank you all so very much for the amazing support that you have shown to us and to our health and social care partners during 2020.

The challenges we have faced as a community have been huge and we cannot underestimate the impact that Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had and will continue to have.

Whether you have lost a loved one, worked on the frontline throughout or been shielding at home – we have all experienced the anxiety and strain of the pandemic.

We have found a way through
Yet our community has been so strong in the face of Covid-19. Together we have found a way through – we have led the way with the first Covid-19 App, kept cases low on the Island and protected the most vulnerable among us.

But with the emergence of a new variant of the virus and a rapid spread of cases across much of the South East we now have a new challenge to face.

The Christmas we all wanted to see has ebbed away as the new variant took hold and we are faced with tougher Tier 3 restrictions from Boxing Day.

You can find more information about Tier 3 restriction.

Rising cases
Cases locally are rising and we know from earlier in the pandemic that it is only a matter of time before we see an increase in admissions to hospital. This of course all coincides with the pressures of winter.

The key to our response so far has been the support of our community and partners and the dedication of our staff.

You stood on doorsteps in your thousands and clapped for the NHS and key workers, you donated food, gifts and money to our charity and crucially you have diligently followed the Government guidance.

Dig deep and go again
We ask you now to dig deep and go again. We need you to help us continue to fight against this virus. What we need from you now is not clapping or donations. What we need is for you to act as though you and the people you might meet have COVID-19.

Wash your hands, cover your face and keep your distance from people.

More information about how to control the spread of the virus is available.

The thousands of people that make up Isle of Wight NHS Trust, our staff and volunteers, will be here for you if you need us. Our teams are working flat out, as they have throughout the pandemic, to provide safe and compassionate care. To deal with the impact of the coming surge in COVID-19 cases and winter pressures we really need your help.

Follow the guidance
Please follow the Tier 3 guidance to the letter and keep yourself, your loved ones and our community safe. Ask your friends and family to do the same because we all have a part to play. We should all maintain good hand hygiene, wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

You can also help by making sure that you are accessing the right services. You should call NHS 111 first before coming to the hospital and they will help you get the right support, whether that’s from your local pharmacist, GP, our Urgent Treatment Centre or A&E. If it is a life-threatening emergency please call 999.

Find out more about NHS 111

Social contact is driving the spread of the virus
We know how very difficult these new restrictions will be for us all but there is clear evidence that social contact, particularly in people’s homes, is driving the spread of the virus.

There is significant risk for our community if people start mixing freely over the coming days. I urge you all to have a careful Christmas.

Devastatingly consistent
Sadly this disease is proving devastatingly consistent. More social contact leads to rising cases, which leads to more hospital admissions and tragically, more people dying. We should take this very seriously but we should not give up hope.

By working together and supporting one another we will get through this. With the start of a mass vaccination programme we can see a way out of the restrictions that have so impacted our lives.

I am proud to be part of this Trust and part of this community and I know that we will rise to the challenges ahead of us.

Have a safe and happy Christmas, Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive

Image: Colin D under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 24th December, 2020 9:13pm



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Letter to the Editor, Top story

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23 Comments on "Open letter from Isle of Wight NHS Trust CEO to community, patients and colleagues"

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As well as the community, what’s needed is genuine support to bring the infection rate under control by the Trust’s other partner organisations and stake holders. The IW Council, and Hampshire and IW Constabulary both need to be doing much more, not simply sitting on the sidelines watching the island infection rate rise. The stupidity of the IW Council and head of Tourism in promoting the island… Read more »
Benny C
Well said. Thanks Dave Stewart. You just brought us tier 3 after most of us worked hard to keep Tier 1. For once, we excelled, we were ahead. And you managed to comprehensively trash what we had achieved by promoting visitors and failing to work hard on prevention at the island borders, the natural barriers that made all the difference. Nice one. You’re supposed to be smart.… Read more »

Longford make a very valid point. It’s similar to the Dominic Cummings Barnard Castle, and Half a sausage Seaview episodes. If people with responsibility, through their actions, show they don’t really care, then this impacts on the wider community, with some then thinking, well they don’t really need to care either.

It’s why Dave Stewart’s and Sarah Jackson’s positions, given their actions, and inactions, are no longer tenable.

Alternative Perspective
If we look across the world at countries that have managed to keep Covid infection rates very low, they have fared much better than those who have allowed them to rise. Today’s island infection number of 55 is very alarming and needs to serve as a real wake up call. In many respects being an island has advantages when it comes to being able to exercisIng some… Read more »
Rhos yr Alarch

Thinking of all local NHS workers who are supporting our community today. Let’s all do our bit in the difficult days ahead….!!

Is this ‘new’ strain of Covid-19 really more contagious, or is it more a case the government realises it’s made a massive mistake, and needs a scapegoat? We all saw the photographs of hordes of Christmas shoppers completely blocking Regent Street in London, and groups of ‘sloanes’ congregating, without masks, outside Harrods a few weeks ago, little wonder the infection rate has gone through the roof. Many… Read more »

Some actual information on the plans for the vaccination programme on the island might have been nice. Many people would respond better to concrete plans and action rather than just the usual platitudes.


What is sad is that some people waste so much of their time and energy, their lives, on spreading conspiracy theories that they could have been devoting to rallying others to saving the world from global warming and species extinction.


We will all be ‘in tier 4 plus’ soon, with some parts of the country allowed to stampede the Boxing Day Sales!!


No-one should believe what the government says about the vaccines. I have it on good authority that they will scramble your brain and make you compliant with government will. Oh, and trackable. And turn you into a lizard. So avoid it at all cost, and help me move up the queue.

You are all so funny. Pathetic, but hilarious on one level. Is there a brain cell on active duty here with the odd exception? I see no evidence. Just go on believing whatever mummy and daddy tell you like good little boys and girls while lives and the country are destroyed … baaa. baaa … Please explain how anyone can test positive for a ‘virus’ with a… Read more »

So what’s your view of the vaccine o’ wise one?


He probably thinks it will give you lizard DNA.

Maggie Oldham repeats the same patronising garbage from government that has spewed from the mouths of officialdom throughout 2020 and the comments here at the time of writing show that there are still so many people who refuse to have a mind of their own and go on believing the garbage despite being provably lied to daily, by the hour, for nine months. ‘Pathetic’ does not even… Read more »

Wow! A note from the head of the tinfoil hat clan spreading his latest conspiracy theory. You do make me laugh.

An interesting point of view David were it not for the fact that an increasing number of people have personal experience of where loved ones have mixed, and someone has passed on the virus to a more.vulnerable member of the family, and that person has then become ill, and died. One wonders where the virus truly originated from. Some countries appear to have been far better prepared… Read more »

So David, do you think Maggie Oldham is a lizard?


Not sure about her, but I could name a whole slew of others.

Mark L Francis

I think the collective name for lizards is an “Icke of Lizards”.
I could be wrong.

Mark L Francis

I googled it up & it seems be a “lounge of lizards”. Really? People just make this schtick up – but it is an Icke of Lizard People”. Hey – do the IWCC still sacrifice babies to Beelzebub?


Do you know, it all makes sense now,

I always suspected Jacob Rees-Mogg was a lizard!


Insulting to lizards, who are harmless. (But yes, that was one of the names I was thinking of.)

Benny C

I’d go and live in another country if I were you. Try the US, maybe. They’ve ignored the warnings and they’re in a right old COVID pickle but they think like you.